Maria Angela Zamora Chaves from CoopeVictoria meets with Wycombe Mayor (Maz) and Deputy Mayor (Matt Knight)
In the Mayor’s Parlour, Old Town Hall. Weds 16th October 2019. 3.00 – 4.15pm.
Maria Angela Zamora Chaves (Fairtrade Cooperative CoopeVictoria and Grecia Town)
Mike King (Wycombe Fairtrade)
Jhon Munoz (Wycombe Fairtrade)
After introductions Maria Angela explained the background and history of the Fairtrade
certified organic coffee and sugar producer cooperative, CoopeVictoria, as well as its
relationship with the Fairtrade town of Grecia in Costa Rica.
Maria Angela saw some similarities with the poorer areas of Grecia in her visit to
Micklefield, a disadvantaged area in Wycombe. She liked the idea of Matt’s Hills Community
Cafe in Micklefield and wanted to try and replicate this in Grecia as one of the CoopeVictoria
social projects, funded by the Fairtrade Premiums, creating a community hub with local
events and informal groups.
Maria Angela and Jhon showed the recorded 2-minute video from the Mayor of Grecia,
Mainor Molina Murillo, explaining that he could not come personally, but sent his warmest
greetings to High Wycombe. Mainor made it very clear in the video that he is very keen on
the idea of a formal relationship of friendship, cooperation, and mutual promotion with the
town of High Wycombe, especially in the areas of tourism and school education exchanges
in the future.
It was explained to the Mayor and Deputy Mayor of Wycombe that this video would be shown during our joint workshop at the Cardiff International Fair Trade Towns Conference on Saturday 19th October 2019, highlighting Wycombe and Grecia’s ideas of bridging the Global North – Global South Fair Trade Towns gap by forming a link and partnership. This would also benefit the respective towns’ trade, economy and businesses. CoopeVictoria had already sent “green coffee beans” to the local Wycombe Fairtrade Coffee Roaster and Wholesaler for quality testing. Following more trials it is hoped that Bewley’s UK would produce a small batch of speciality CoopeVictoria coffee for the UK market. At present, CoopeVictoria do not have a direct distributer in the UK, although 64% of their exports are to mainland Europe. Other cultural links could also be explored further down the line. School exchanges, especially those involving eco-tourism and respective English and Spanish language classes would be very valuable to both towns’ schools and secondary education.
The results of the meeting were that the Mayors of both High Wycombe and Grecia would like to work together and had formed a firm foundation to make this happen. Best wishes on both sides were extended. A more formal signed agreement of friendship, cooperation, and partnership would follow later on.
Mike King, Chairman Wycombe Fairtrade