Following on from a speculative email and an invitation to the Costa Rican Embassy in December 2019, Ambassador Ortiz and his wife came to High Wycombe on Tuesday 21st January 2020 to present the High Wycombe Fairtrade Foundation Town Renewal Certificate November 2019 – Nov 2021 to the Mayor of High Wycombe, Councillor Mazamal Hussain, during the Wycombe Charter Town Trustees Executive meeting.
During an agenda item, Ambassador Rafael Ortiz addressed the Charter Trustee Executives in the Council Chamber, stating his wholehearted support for the principles of the Fairtrade movement in general. Fairtrade was directly responsible for over 20% of Costa Rica’s national income. He also praised the work of the High Wycombe For Fairtrade Steering Group in particular, focusing on developing and promoting a spirit of cooperation, friendship, and establishing a working relationship with the Fair Trade Town of Grecia in north-central Costa Rica, in addition to linking with the neighbouring and largest Fair Trade organic coffee and sugar producer, CoopeVictoria. This cooperative group has over 3000 farmers who benefit directly from Fairtrade’s guaranteed coffee prices and income, utilize sustainable and organic farming practices, have excellent green renewable energy credentials, and invest their Fairtrade premium back into their businesses as well as fund community projects such a building a new school for migrant worker’s children and funding classroom teachers.
During an interval in the meeting in the Mayor’s Parlour, Ambassador Ortiz presented the Fairtrade Foundation Town Renewal Certificate to the Mayor of High Wycombe. There was a reporter and photographer from the Bucks free Press, as well as many other photo opportunities with the Deputy Mayor of High Wycombe, Matt Knight and members of the Wycombe Fairtrade Steering Group shaking hands with the Ambassador and his wife. The Costa Rican Ambassador was invited to sit in the historical Mayoral Weighing Chair, where the “Wycombe is a Fairtrade Town” banner provided an effective back-drop. This very exciting, sociable and mutually rewarding evening celebration was enhanced by sampling various types of Fairtrade wine, soft drinks and snacks in the Mayor’s Parlour.
One of our Steering Group members then escorted the Ambassador and his wife to the station to catch their return train to London.
Chairman, Wycombe Fairtrade.