Author Archives: Mike King

Logo Collage

Internationally Recognized Fairtrade Certification Labels

Fairtrade International

Fairtrade International is a fair trade certification scheme owned by producers and licensing organizations, such as the Fairtrade Foundation. It is almost exclusively primary product focused, but with no requirements for an entire organization to be a fair-trade company. (e.g., Cadburys).

This is the only Fairtrade mark that assures producers a guaranteed price for their products, usually above the world market price, ironing out the peaks and troughs of market fluctuations. The logo also indicates that a “premium” has been allocated to farmer cooperatives to devote in their businesses, as well as devote funds to social and community projects of their choice. Sustainable production methods and environmental awareness are also implied.

The Small Producers Symbol

The Small Producers Symbol or (SPP) is based in Mexico City and is particularly strong in Latin America and the Caribbean.

This is the only Fairtrade Certification system written, owned, and developed exclusively by the small producers and farmers themselves in developing countries. Rules and norms, such as granted minimum prices or products’ composition rules, are determined by SPP bodies, composed of fair-trade cooperatives. The Small Producers’ Symbol, (SPP), is a label that represents an alliance among organized small producers to build a local and global market that values the identity and the economic, social, cultural, and ecological contributions of products from Small Producers’ Organizations. This alliance is based on a relationship of collaboration, trust and co-responsibility among women and men who are small producers, with buyers and consumers. The SPP is backed by an independent certification system.

The SPP represents the identity of organized small fair trade producers, to distinguish it in local and global markets with its specific products and values.

The SPP is backed by an independent certification system, guaranteeing consumers that products come from authentic, democratic, self-managing organizations of small producers, and that they have been produced in line with criteria for economic, social, cultural and ecological sustainability, and produced under fair conditions.

The SPP is more than a label. It is a particular way of improving prospects for life and well-being through collective, co-responsible work among small producers, consumers, and other stakeholders in the market and in society.

The World Fair Trade Organization

The WFTO was founded in 1987 as a Fair-Trade Certification body. Traidcraft was certified as a WFTO Guaranteed Fair Trade Organization in 2017. The WFTO is a producer and trader owned international system, which brings growers, suppliers, and buyers of fair-trade products together.

A Community of Fair Trade Enterprises

The WFTO is the global community and verifier of social enterprises that fully practice Fair Trade. Spread across 76 countries, WFTO members all exist to serve marginalised communities. To be a WFTO member, an enterprise or organisation must demonstrate they put people and planet first in everything they do. The WFTO is democratically run by its members, who are part of a broader community of over 1,000 social enterprises and 1,500 shops. We are their global community. 

The WFTO focuses on both social enterprise and Fair Trade. Its Guarantee System is the only international verification model focused on social enterprises that put the interests of workers, farmers, and artisans first. Through peer-reviews and independent audits, WFTO verifies members are mission-led enterprises fully practicing the 10 Principles of Fair Trade across their business and supply chains. Once verified, all members have free use of the WFTO Guaranteed Fair Trade product label. (see above)

The WFTO subscribes to 10 core principles of Fair Trade

  • Create Opportunities for Economically Disadvantaged Producers.
  • Transparency and Accountability.
  • Fair Trading Practices.
  • Payment of a Fair Price.
  • Ensuring no Child Labour and Forced Labour. …
  • Commitment to Non-Discrimination, Gender Equality, Freedom of Association.
  • Ensuring Good Working Conditions.
  • Provide capacity building
  • Promoting Fair Trade as the norm.
  • Respect for the Environment

Impact

Fair Trade Enterprises across the world are producing and trading, campaigning, and educating for a better world. The WFTO is their global community. Their direct impact includes 965,700 livelihoods supported through the operations and supply chains of these enterprises. 74% of these workers, farmers and artisans are women and women made up much of the leadership. They pioneer upcycling and social enterprise, refugee livelihoods and women’s leadership. These enterprises show a better world is possible and we support them through a range of initiatives and projects. As of May 2018, there were 326 certified WFTO Fair Trade Enterprises throughout the world.

Naturland Fair

Naturland Fair combines organic agriculture, social responsibility, and fair trade, both locally and globally. Naturland Fair is strongly represented in mainland Europe and adds the organic component to this economic aspect of sustainability. It is now one of the most prestigious certification bodies combining Fairtrade and Organic in one label.

This certification system is owned by organic farmers that ensures that both the product and the organization that produced it are rooted in doing things fairly. The Naturland association campaigns for organic farmers, wherever they are in the world, to have a future. This is only possible if they can live by what they grow. Fair prices, reliable trading relationships, and social responsibility are the cornerstones of this policy. They are the mainstay of certification to the Naturland Fair standards, which since 2010 now has provided businesses with a visible symbol of their commitment to a spirit of co-operation with their partners in their economic relationships and in society in general. A wide variety of products, ranging from milk and bread to olives and spices, besides the typical fair-trade products such as coffee and chocolate, illustrates the global scope of certification to Naturland Fair standards.

Fair for Life

Fair for Life is a certification programme for fair trade in agriculture, manufacturing, and trade. It was created in 2006 by the Swiss Bio-Foundation in cooperation with the IMO Group, then taken over by the Ecocert Group in 2014 to meet a specific demand from organic farming stakeholders. It is basically a certification process of Fair Trade within responsible supply chains and businesses with corporate social responsibility.

The label encourages a supply chain business model that aims at the resilience of each link. Fair for Life certification is a tool that enables the fixing of prices and protection of exemplary supply chains, where stakeholders have chosen to act responsibly by implementing good economic, social, and environmental practices. By following the framework defined by Fair for Life certification, producers, processors, and brand owners can secure their sales and supplies, thanks to tools such as long-term contracts that include fixed prices and volumes, and by establishing a real partnership between them.


Today, Fair for Life brings together a community of more than 700 certified companies and organisations in over 70 countries. Their commitment in Fair for Life directly impacts 235,000 producers and workers and generates nearly €1 billion in certified products sales. An example “Fair For All” certified company is “Alter Ego” based in San Francisco which markets and supplies socially and ethically produced quinoa.

Minutes of Meeting of 29th June 2021

Location

The Avenue Methodist Church, Rutland Avenue

Those Present

  • Mike King
  • Jhon Munoz
  • Sheena King
  • Tony Thornby
  • Angus Massie
  • Lesley Hatton
  • Sarah Moroz

Apologies

Ivan Cicin-Sain

Minutes of Last Meeting

No corrections were suggested to the minutes from 19/05/21

Wycombe Council

MK – following our last meeting, MK e-mailed Matt and asked if he could update us re: Wycombe Council situation. MK quoted Matt’s response ie: that a Wycombe Town Council is unlikely to be established in the near future and that the resolution originally passed by Wycombe Council supporting FT will still stand. He advised that for now, we will have to work within the existing systems of Wycombe Town Committee and the Mayor and Charter Trustees.

Population Matters/ Wycombe Friends of the Earth

Deferred – in Ivan’s absence

Website/Social media

TT – there hasn’t been much content added but TT shared the website’s traffic figures for June and which pages have been viewed. Numbers are up but this is mainly because we published some info on St Vincent. The figures showed 97 views of the St Vincent page and 57 of the home page.

MK – also there was the Wycombe Sound interview in which TT mentioned the St Vincent disaster appeal

AM –some people must have gone straight to the St Vincent page and not via the home page

JM – put a photo of MK and Andrea onto Facebook and it generated some traffic

Coope Victoria/Grecia link

MK – showed our banner that has been printed for the partnership – part of the bottom text which included the website addresses has been missed off. Cost was approx £40. Propose that we go back to Grecia and get them to work on the sizing. Also the Costa Rican and British flags were slightly chopped off.

AM – is willing to try adjusting this.

MK – some of the colours also did not come out. We need to go back to the printers and ask them to try again once we have adjusted it.

TT – we could ask if they could reprint it and us to re-use the rollers/stands for it.

MK – there might have been discrepancies caused by differences between Costa Rican and UK software systems

Treasurer’s report

SK – balance is still £201.75. Plan is to get signatories changed to SK and SM (MK to be taken off).

Meeting with Mayor

MK – Andrea is totally committed to our cause. Her consort is Nabeela Rana (another Wycombe Independent councillor) and her deputy is Lesley Clarke. Hence we have good support. MK had a 90 minute meeting with Andrea (on 14/06/21). She is willing for us to provide catering at the Mayor’s Carol concert and possibly on other occasions. She can’t bring much pressure to bear on what products the council uses but suggested a couple of people who we may be able to approach re: product procurement. Re: Road signage – she advised that we would have to approach Bucks Council about this. Andrea hopes to attend our next meeting on 21st July.

There was a group discussion re: Wycombe not having a District Council. If a District Council was set up, ownership of Council properties would have to revert to Wycombe from Bucks – this may be an issue.

TT – will put MK’s report of his meeting with Andrea onto our website.

MK – will provide summary for TT

MK – Andrea was also willing to take part in Zoom meetings with Grecia’s Mayor etc.
Links with other neighbouring groups

MK – Ivan suggested inviting people from neighbouring groups to our meeting and perhaps arrange joint events eg. a speaker event.

SM – the Fairtrade Foundation and other groups are putting together a package for schools available from September re: COP26. We could support Wycombe FOE if they wanted to approach schools with this.

We could also join with other local FT groups if we need to lobby Bucks Council about something.

TT – feels we should concentrate more on engaging with people within Wycombe and subjects relevant to them.

MK – our link with the mayor will help this.

MK – had an online meeting with Bucks New Uni. They did run a FT breakfast and had a FT wine and cheese event around World FT Day but won’t have a FT rep until autumn at earliest.

Grecia schools link

JM – e-mail went to Headteacher of Wycombe High but no reply yet. May have gone to junk or they have just been too busy. Perhaps we should just send letters out instead but also to other schools as well. Maria already has established contact at a school in Grecia and they are happy to have the link with schools here.

AM – problem with timing at the moment as it is nearly the end of term.

JM – may be more difficult at the beginning of a term though. Perhaps if we sent them now they would then have the information ready for the autumn

MK – we could send letters to teachers in various departments – Geography, Business Studies, Spanish etc

Places of Worship mini-team

MK – we are being hampered by GDPR

LH – will be able to provide some contact names and details within the Methodist churches. She could put it on the agenda for their church council next week

SM – thinks we should just ask people to e-mail the faiths e-mail address provided by Chrysi rather than give all the other more complicated details in the proposed church letter.

LH – could put a link in the letter to the relevant section on the FT Foundation website
Pann Mill Open Day

MK – September date should be going ahead at Pann Mill

SK – willing to arrange Traidcraft stall at this.

MK – costs £10 for a stall all day including a gazebo.

Next meeting

Wednesday 21st July – Place to be confirmed –
possibly Micklefield Library

Wycombe For Fairtrade – Stall at Pann Mill Open Day on Sunday 12th September 2021

Wycombe For Fairtrade rented stall space at the recent Pann Mill Open Day. This was the first information and Fairtrade product stall that that we have had since about one year and a half ago when the pandemic lookdown occurred, and public gatherings banned.

Thank to Sarah, Sheena, Jhon and Mike who staffed the stall all day from 1030am to about 4.45 pm.

It was a surprisingly successful venture for several reasons: –

  1. Our stall near the Pann Mill Café saw steady footfall all day.
  2. It was good to have direct contact with the public again.
  3. We managed to sell a number of Traidcraft products and raised over £156.00.
  4. Sadly, Wycombe Sound Community Radio were not present at this event However,
  5. Steering Group members had a number of productive conversations with members of the public as well as engaging with several known contacts.
  6. The Mayor of High Wycombe, Councillor Andrea Baughan, visited Pann Mill around 4.00 pm and visited all the stalls and spoke with the stall holders. This provided Wycombe For Fairtrade with good photo opportunities to: –
  7. Present the Mayor with a Fairtrade coffee mug which the Chairman presented to Andrea
  8. The backdrop was the new banner highlighting the twin Fairtrade Town linking between Grecia in Costa Rica, and the Fairtrade Town of High Wycombe in which the image colours and the text really
  9. Marion Lyons, from St Andrews Church introduced herself and stated that the Church had registered with the Fairtrade Foundation under the new Places of Worship scheme and were busy ensuring that Fairtrade products and the ethics of social justice were entrenched in the biblical teaching and church services.
  10. Also, a member of the public came forward and identified herself as Fay, and gave us a insight into the workings of the High Wycombe Community Board, which could prove useful in future and in “building back better” in terms of local council actions and plans. We noted her contact details for future reference.

Overall, it was a very positive, productive, and profitable presence and although tiring to set up and pack up, but was well worth the effort.

Many thanks to Sheena King, Sarah Moroz, and Jhon Munoz who gave up a large proportion of Sunday to ensure that our Fairtrade Stall was staffed all day.

Mike King

Chairman, Wycombe For Fairtrade

Report from SE Regional Fairtrade Campaigner’s Zoom Conference 27th July 2021

Mike and Sheena King attended the online SE Regional Campaigner’s Zoom Conference.

There were some some very interesting and encouraging addresses and information.
Mike and Sheena have summarised the content of the 4 addresses that they listened to and links to these, as PDF document, are below.

The four summaries cover: – 

1). Big Green Week 18-26 September 2021

2). Joanna Pollard – Fairtrade Foundation, National Campaign Council Chairperson address

3). Pauline Tiffen – B2B Business to Business Initiative.

4). Sarah Brazier – Fairtrade Foundation Campaign Manager address.

University of Bath’s Fairtrade Fortnight celebrations 2020 – Part 3 of 3

Gloria Maria Talavera Gonzalez. Fairtrade Coffee & Cocoa Farmer & Women’s Coordinator Producer from the SOPPEXCCA Cooperative, Nicaragua.

She has been farming cocoa and coffee in Corinta Finca for over 25 years. Fairtrade has enabled:-

  • Financing a scholarship for her son to study agricultural engineering in Germany for a year, helping to keep young people involved with the land.
  • Fairtrade provided credit for replacing all her coffee plants when the fungal leaf rust disease (La Roya), decimated her and neighbouring crops in 2013.
  • Her son and daughter help on the plantation at weekends, removing poor quality coffee beans and cocoa pods that not growing well.

Gloria stressed the importance of Fairtrade especially in the areas of:

  1. Developing and spreading women’s gender equality, men and women are paid the same price for their coffee. A separate women’s coffee brand has developed over the last few years called “Sister”.
  2. Through Fairtrade producer cooperatives, larger amounts of coffee and cocoa can be exported, on newly surfaced roads, partly paid for by the Fairtrade Premium.
  3. The organic coffee and cocoa meet the exacting Fairtrade Certificate Standards and requirements which are regularly inspected and so have consumer confidence.
  4. Agricultural technicians and agronomists supervise the Cooperatives’ plantations.
  5. SOPPEXCCA’s farmers work with the environment. They are encouraged to grow other crops, both as for healthy consumption, but also for selling in local markets and even exporting. Bananas, orchard fruit, maize and organic honey, are crucial cash crops as well as providing vital vitamins for families and for food security.
  6. Nicaragua is well off for water and forests, but climate change of just a few degrees can have a dramatic impact on coffee production, the main cash crop. Fortunately, cocoa grows well in the fertile, volcanic soil and fills in most of the income gap. Plots devoted to bananas, mangoes, and other diversified fruit provide more than self-sufficiency – diverse income streams. Annatto is an orange-red food coloring or condiment made from the seeds of the achiote tree.
  7. A group of enterprising women, using part of the Fairtrade Premium have utilized local organic beekeeping to combine the honey with the maize to produce a grain energy bar. They were aided by marketing help from a female entrepreneur in Ireland who advised on marketing. These energy bars are also sold in their plantation cafe. Unsold fruit along with washed coffee sludge is dried and bagged for organic fertilizer for Cooperative members.
  8. Fairtrade Premiums have been invested in community health projects over the years, including a free health clinic for workers and regular cancer checks.
  9. A holistic approach is adopted with guaranteed Fairtrade coffee and cocoa prices ironing out fluctuations in world prices and allowing farmers to plan for the future for cash crops. The Fairtrade Premium also encourages fledgling income diversity and local ripple effect industries to provide new revenue streams, some of which are very intuitive.

Notes Produced by:
Mike King
Chairman, Wycombe Fairtrade     

University of Bath’s Fairtrade Fortnight celebrations 2020 – Part 2 of 3

Louise Whitaker; Group Support Manager, Bewley’s UK

Visit to the SOPPEXCCA Cooperative in Nicaragua and Unlocking the power of Women in Coffee.

Louise began her presentation by stating that over 125 million people in 70 countries worldwide rely on coffee as the main cash crop. However, the coffee plant does not like quick changes in growing conditions and is largely intolerant of progressive temperature increases. Coffee is also very labour intensive and prone to pests and fungal diseases. Coffee seedlings take 4 to 5 years to produce in nurseries before any coffee cherries grow on the bush. The first crop is discarded before the best cherries mature. When ripe, the cherries are hand-picked, sorted, and then de-pulped to obtain the two green coffee beans in each cherry. The green coffee beans are then place in the sun to dry for 3 – 7 days and  turned regularly.

Women provide much of the labour in what are often male-dominated societies, as well as looking after the children, cooking, collecting water, shopping, or running small businesses in local markets

Louise referred to a newly published ICO document examining gender equality and climate change.

When women have access to finance, credit, training, and are involved in the decision making processes of the cooperative, women tend to save more money than men as well as direct more of that finance to providing for the family.

Members of the SOPPEXCCA Cooperative pay to be part of the Fairtrade auditing scheme to have the certification logo on their coffee and cocoa products. Fairtrade membership entitlements include:-

  • Gender equality
  • Equal pay for men and women
  • One member one vote on business and community project decisions
  • Access to credit – (a holistic approach is taken)
  • Women managers and leaders act as “role models” in the cooperative expanding the narrative
  • Money provides for school bags, paper, pens,  and child uniforms even though state education is free
  • Children can then aspire to colleges and universities for professional training
  • With credit, women can start their own coffee or small businesses.

e.g. women collect organic honey from bees and combine this with home grown maize to produce energy bars, which are sold locally in markets, shops and even exported

  • This in turn provides access to more credit e.g. $10,000 for marketing of biscuits and energy bars. A wheel begins to role and gather pace, so creating a new mini-enterprise

Positive factors

There is a clear role for women in businesses as well as community, empowering and enhancing their status, closing the gender gap. Women work hard in the production of coffee but can create quite innovative enterprises which diversify the economy based on local conditions and advantages. Women understand the relationship of their work with the land and the environment and can help fight climate change.

During her 2018 visit to SOPPEXCCA Cooperative, Louise met a number of women with interesting stories to tell about improving their economic opportunities  as well social and community benefits, once they have access to credit, they become entrepreneurs and role models. Money has also come from Melissa Gates and the Hilary Clinton Foundations.

Greta: 90% of her income was directed to her family, improving diet, health and education opportunities. She works in alignment with the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Farmers would lose money if their coffee were not sold under Fairtrade terms. Being involved in both business and community decision making means inclusion and empowerment for women in SOPPEXCCA. The current General manager of the cooperative is Fatima Ismael, who is responsible for over 800 individual coffee farmers.

Rosa: listed a number of advantages since she became a smallholder. Land can now be registered in a woman’s name, and encourages economic diversity and the setting up of micro-businesses apart from growing the cash crop – coffee. Gender equality is established as well as young people can see the improvements and realize that farming can offer a living wage and a future.

Maxima: Her coffee is sold under the Women’s coffee label – “Sisters. The Fairtrade money earned is allocated to school equipment for her children. With the low coffee prices, she has stated growing cocoa as a main cash crop. Cocoa benefits include:-

  • Stable higher income than coffee and is viewed as a “buffer” crop
  • Grows all the year round
  • Provides more money out of the coffee harvest season
  • Has started to make her own chocolate bars
  • Cocoa grows well at lower levels on land formally used for coffee production
  • She is seen as a role model for other female producers
  • Mutual skill sharing and utilizing cross-product marketing.

      Myrtle: She established a small cafe on her coffee growing land and taught herself to become a     barista by studying at weekends.

Climate change has a human cost as well as an immediate environmental crop.

Notes Produced by:
Mike King
Chairman, Wycombe Fairtrade     

University of Bath’s Fairtrade Fortnight celebrations 2020 – Part 1 of 3

Barney Smyth; Acting Senior Partnership Manager, Fairtrade Foundation. 1.45 pm.

Explored 2 Questions about Fairtrade.

What makes Fairtrade certification unique?

Why do Fairtrade producers, buyers and end consumers have faith in the Fairtrade logo.

  1. Minimum price for a product e.g. coffee is paid to producers which irons out the world market price peaks and troughs. Eliminating these price fluctuations means that producers can plan ahead, and Fairtrade buyers know that coffee has been grown on Fairtrade terms. Currently Fairtrade farmers are paid $1.40 per pound of coffee. The current world price is between $1.00 and $1.20. This minimum price guarantee is paid when coffee prices rise. The Fairtade price is always 20 cents above the global coffee price. This Fairtrade price covers the costs of sustainable and environmentally friendly production.
  2. Fairtrade farmers and producers receive an additional Fairtrade Premium on top of the selling price. This is usually another 1% of the value of the products. The producer cooperative workers, who know their own needs, can then decide to allocate this funding to:
    – social projects
    – improving community infrastructure
    – Investing in a health centre
    – buying in training and education
    – building schools
    – improving their businesses with new equipment
    – Workers are thus empowered and can take control of their own livelihoods.
  3. The Fairtrade logo is a recognised kitemark and reflects uniform assessment by FLOCERT, the independent WFTO body that assesses farmers; producers; suppliers; traders; and wholesalers that rigorous standards have been met and that regular inspections are made to trace and prove product traceability.

Barney Smith presented some interesting Fairtrade Foundation Statistics –

Fairtrade has been going for over 25years
– 90% of people in the UK recognize the Fairtrade logo
– 87% of people in the UK trust the logo
– 76% of people in the UK care about the third party/independent certification process
– 76% of people in the UK care about Fairtrade producers and farmers
– 76% of people in the UK actively seek and choose Fairtrade products

Why Fairtrade makes such a big difference?

  • Producers and farmers have a guaranteed income
  • They have decent working conditions
  • There is no child or forced labour
  • Men and women receive equal pay, empowering both genders
  • Fairtrade suppliers establish long-term working relationships with producer cooperatives
  • There are social, economic, and environmental benefits of belonging to a Fairtrade cooperative
  • The cost of belonging Fairtrade certified cooperative includes many other benefits such as technical and agricultural training  for farmers and a chance to belong to network groups

Fairtrade Coffee Cooperative Statistics 2019

  • There are 582 Fairtrade coffee cooperatives located in Latin America, Africa, and SE Asia
  • 762,000 farmers growing and selling Fairtrade coffee.
  • 86% of all Fairtrade coffee originates from Central and South America
  • Fairtrade coffee production is worth in excess of 84 million Euros.
  • 18% of Fairtrade coffee growers are women.

In a short accompanying video, one coffee grower stated that “Coffee is our life”, and more farmers need to sell coffee on Fairtrade terms where the environmental costs are factored in to the end price. The guaranteed price of Fairtrade coffee irons out the huge fluctuations in the market price.

“Climate change is a huge threat to livelihoods” but that farmers will have to adapt.

Notes Produced by:
Mike King
Chairman, Wycombe Fairtrade

Minutes of 7th January 2020

Location:

Micklefield Library, Micklefield Road

Those present

Mike King
Jhon Munoz
Sarah Moroz
Tony Thornby
Sheena King
Ivan Cicin-Sain – Wycombe Friends of the Earth
Steve Morton – Wycombe Friends of the Earth “
Angus Massie
Bob Smith

Air raid cafe seems to be still open.

MK – also went to the Coffee Lounge. Although they don’t have the Fairtrade logo, their coffee is ethically sourced. MK spoke to the manager.

The FT renewal certificate was shown round. MK will put it in a photo frame ready for the presentation event.

TT – Wycombe District Council will be dissolving in April.

MK – Matt Knight thinks that there will be a Town Council for Wycombe. MK met Trevor Snaith in the Coffee Lounge and he thought the same.

I C-S – Wyc FOE are trying to launch a climate action group.

St M – Nationally FOE has a climate action group which feeds into government and includes individuals who are not FOE members.

I C-S – Wyc FOE are trying to form an alliance of individuals/groups to campaign for action on climate change.

St M – there is a Facebook group also working on this. Next Tuesday there is a group launching in Aylesbury to lobby the new county authority re: the climate emergency.

MK – suggests that Wycombe for Fairtrade could be involved in this joint effort. Everyone voted for this.

JM – Costa Rica are taking practical action to tackle climate change

MK – the all-party committee for Central America haven’t met for many months. During the meeting with the Costa Rican ambassador the possibility of forming a committee for Costa Rica on its own was discussed.

MK/JM would both like to go to the Wyc FOE meeting next Thursday evening to discuss the joint group on climate change.

St M – the more people involved, the more leverage there would be with local government.

TT – a company is producing bricks from recycled material – prevents a lot going to landfill. There is also a company who are working on an electric aeroplane fleet.

MK – Bucks New Uni have plans for their volunteers week. Handing out FT bananas and ‘Smile Week’. They are also arranging to have a speaker from Bewleys. They have about 125 students they can call on in the Sustainability etc group

JM – it was a very useful meeting with Costa Rican ambassador. He wanted to talk about a wide range of topics involving environmental action in Costa Rica in general. He was also talking about engaging with local politicians and about setting up an all-party parliamentary group for Costa Rica.

MK – It would be really good if the ambassador could meet with the new Wycombe Town Council. The ambassador was very interested in what we have done with the linking model. He said that there is lots of potential for increasing trade with Costa Rica. He suggested targeting new Tory MPs in northern seats. The meeting lasted about 3 hours.

JM – the ambassador came from the Grecia area and knew the mayor and Co-op Victoria.

MK – re: FT Fortnight. JM and TT are willing to go on Wyc Sound radio with MK.

The presentation event is on Jan 21st. MK will do a shortened version of his climate presentation. It would be a good opportunity to get signatures on a document to support the idea of a partnership between the Grecia and Wycombe. There will be refreshments after the presentation and before the rest of the council meeting.

The churches/faith groups think-tank on FT is booked for 7th March. MK showed a poster. 3 speakers are arranged – Margaret Dykes, Angorad Hopkinson (the head person for faith and churches at the FT Foundation) and Mike (the effect of climate change on FT). Heather will lead a FT service at the end. Heather has lots of links with local churches. It may also be possible for Maranda St John Nicholle to be there (Christian Concern for One World).

TT – on the poster for this event, please can people be encouraged to join our Facebook group – also at the event itself.

MK – our website is looking really good, many thanks to TT

TT – need to get better at reporting on what we have done.

BS – the Avenue church is now up and running again, following the repairs.

SM – re: if other faith groups are also being invited, we may need to make the poster inclusive of them.

MK – re: the John Hampden Politicon event 6 – 8.30pm on 13th Feb. We will have a stall there.

MK – showed a proposed poster for use at events to promote ourselves – showing how we are campaigning on the 5 goals for a FT Town. Suggested it is printed on display board (foam inner) on A2 size. We would have to get a company to do this.

TT – has links with companies who could do this.

TT – the most recent work he has done is to bring our website up to date. We need to be more proactive in advertising events. If we set up a Facebook group then we can send invites to everyone in the group.

JM – we need to find ways of increasing our income. A lady from the Bristol FT group said they are a CIC (Community Interest Company) legal entity – can then get funding from businesses and government eg DFID. JM suggested we may be able to do something similar.

St M – Wycombe FOE get income from membership fees. It may be worth talking to James MacDonald (Friends of the Wye) to see where they get their funding from.

SK – there will be Traidcraft stall at the churches event on 7th March and at Christ the Servant King church the next day.

TT – has spoken to his church, Kings Church, about becoming a FT church – they use Kingdom Coffee but don’t seem to know that it is FT.

Next meeting: 11th February at Ivan’s at 8pm

Minutes of 12th November 2019

Location

Micklefield Library, Micklefield Road

Those Present

  • Mike King
  • Ivan Cicin-Sain – Wycombe Friends of the Earth
  • Sheena King
  • Angus Massie
  • Daniel & Claudia Mangoldt
  • Sarah Moroz
  • Eryn Anderson – Bucks New Uni
  • Jhon Munoz
  • Bob Smith

Notes

CM – has just arrived recently in UK from Spain

DM – always interested in FT, not had opportunity to pursue it before.

JM invited C /D

EA – current ambassador for FT from BNU – took over from Emily Dixie

Apologies from TT – he will be putting more on website for us.

MK – attended Population Matters event on 12th October

MK – Cardiff International FT conference was the best conference they’d ever attended

I C-S – 12th October event was at Trinity URC. There was a good stand-up comedian and a variety of stalls – Extinction Rebellion group from Marlow, WFF, and various environmental groups – made £100 profit and 80 people attended.

Future events – Population Matters AGM on 18th Nov at Ivan’s house. Wyc FOE Christmas meeting on 4th Dec at Friends Meeting House

A new warning from scientists has come out this month – 11,000 scientists have signed it – it calls on governments to take urgent action to tackle the climate crisis including ending and reversing population growth.

AM – is starting to make progress in accumulating contact details for churches in Wycombe re: assessing FT situation.

SK – has asked Christ the Servant King church if they can apply to be a FT church. Their administrator is very supportive. SK will be their contact.

MK – has been invited to the BNU Environment, Sustainability & FT Committee.

EA – at the moment they are organising a FT breakfast meeting – inviting local FT businesses eg. Ruby Moon and focussing also on green issues. Hopefully they will have speakers at it as well. It will be just before FT Fortnight in volunteers week

JM – it would be good to have some students come to our meetings.

EA – if there is sufficient warning / advertising then support could be good.

MK – re: the Cardiff conference / visit of Maria. Maria was invited by ourselves plus mayor/deputy mayor. She was also representing the mayor of Grecia.

There was a meeting in the mayor’s parlour. Next stage is to have a formal agreement for the linkage.

One problem is the dissolving of the Wycombe District Council. There was an online questionnaire re: this. If there was a town council just for Wycombe, it would be easier for us to deal with. Matt is going to check the wording of the twinning agreement with Klekheim. The powers of the mayor in Grecia are greater. MK, JM and Maria also had a meeting with Bewleys on 17th October. Maria gave background of what they are trying to do. They also visited Matt’s cafe and Maria was very impressed. At a school in Costa Rica, children bring in used vegetable oil which is then purified and mixed with diesel to power tractors and local lorries. The whole of Costa Rica is due to be using renewables by 2025. They have a lot of migrant workers they pay fairly. Bewleys are roasting some of the beans from Co-op Vittoria with a view to producing a speciality coffee with Wycombe/Grecia names on. The town of Haworth in Yorkshire has done something similar (worthvalleymag.co.uk has a report in its October 2019 edition). They also went to Ruby Moon, Air Raid cafe and various other shops in Wycombe.

AM – Has heard that Air Raid cafe will be going soon – it is a pop-up – will be replaced.

MK – Bart from the Oxford group complimented us at the Cardiff conference for our achievements. Possible that we may do a joint event with them.

MK – showed the papercopy of the powerpoint presentation that he gave at the Population Matters event on 12th October.

MK – would be good to have a social to celebrate our 5 year anniversary and our renewal. We have achieved a lot in the last 18 months. Also MK/SK hope to visit Costa Rica.

JM – re: workshop at the Cardiff conference . Talked about how we built the link with Costa Rica. He showed a printout of the slides they used. They also showed a video from the mayor of Grecia – it is now on Facebook. Matt also spoke. Matt and Maria announced the friendship link at the end of the conference. Matt was the only mayor there (apart from the mayor of Cardiff). There was also a stall promoting the Co-op Vittoria products etc

SK – showed the programme for the conference

MK – Cardiff was the first FT capital and Wales the first FT nation. There was also a FT church service.

SK – there were a lot of stalls – one of them was Bala balls. Perhaps we could get Wycombe Wanderers to use FT balls, even if only for their practice sessions.

MK – for the Cardiff government everything has to be FT, local or healthy.

MK – also visited a FT primary school and attended their assembly. Children were enthusiastic.

SK – attended a workshop re: the UN working with refugees to make handicrafts to sell as FT – she took a leaflet about it to Ruby Moon.

SK – they were also selling FT T-shirts

EA – at the moment the university are trying to find a supplier for FT T-shirts.

SK – gave EA a leaflet re: possible suppliers

MK – SK/MK ran a stall at CSK last Sunday. They took about £600. They also sold some of the produce given by Bewleys. Nero Bianco chocolate bars sold well. This added £20 to our bank acct – now stands at £155.

JM – it would be good to discuss possible fundraising ideas.

MK – would like to speak to Louise Whitaker about this as well

MK – asked re: Mayor’s carol service

BS – thinks it is the 15th December.

SM – will ask Matt.

SM – is planning to send schools questionnaire out – to primary only? But the possible language student etc links with Grecia schools would be more suited to secondary schools.

FT Fortnight next year seems to be concentrating on chocolate.

MK – re: presentation of our renewal certificate – would be good if we could get the Costa Rican ambassador to present it to the Chairman of WDC? Tony Green is also the chair of the Twinning Ctte.

JM – we can ask Matt’s opinion.

SM – maybe present it to the mayor instead?

MK – also doesn’t want to use the term ‘twinning’ – more a ‘Partnership’.

EA – their event would be on a weekday (Wednesday?) morning. Would be inviting lecturers as well as students.

MK – Heather is the new lay minister at CSK. She has suggested that it would be a good idea to have a workshop looking at FT churches. CSK would host the event – during FT Fortnight on a Saturday morning – inviting all the churches in Wycombe – have speakers eg. Margaret Dykes. MK could do the climate change talk. Could discuss how to involve young people at the churches. Could finish with a short service. Also to include other faiths and denominations.
We need to compile the info on Wycombe churches for our next FT Town renewal application.

JM – for FT Fortnight we could do another interview on Wycombe Sound, promote things on our Facebook page. Following the Cardiff conference our Facebook followers increased significantly. Also perhaps organise a talk to let people in Wycombe know about the linkage with Costa Rica.
EA – could use the ‘Front Room’ as a venue. This could be a ‘drop-in’ event, open throughout the day with speakers at different times during the day.

MK – also need to arrange a meeting with the Costa Rican embassy

I C-S – Wyc FOE and Pop’n Matters are taking part in an event (Politicon) at John Hampden school on Thursday 13th February to introduce 6th formers to various groups.

MK – will make contact to see if we can also have a stall.

Next meeting: 7th January at Micklefield Library (if Avenue not
available)