The 2018 AGM was held on 15 October 2018 and the following Annual Report was delivered:
York Fair Trade Forum Annual Report
AGM 15th October 2018
King Richard Room
CYC West Offices. 6.30pm
Fairtrade City status for York will be renewed in January 2019 – this will represent 15 continuous years of Fairtrade City status and we have celebrations planned including an evening painting pots at Bish Bash Pot on 13 March. Please put this in your diary and come along if you can. Our aim is to get as much publicity for the 15th anniversary as possible so if you have any ideas, please let us know.
Since our 2017 AGM we have been busy with campaigns and events. In October we took part in the Day of Action campaigning against Sainsbury’s decision to move away from Fairtrade tea. Eight of us protested outside the large Sainsbury’s in York city centre and delivered our campaigning letters direct to the Assistant Manager. She was very supportive of our campaign and since then Sainsbury’s has paused its roll-out of its own “Fairly traded” system. I think we can chalk this up as a tentative success for fair trade campaigning so well done everyone.
In February we were contacted by York University who were organising a number of events for One Planet Week. We sourced a Fairtrade football for them to use as a prize for an inter-college football tournament, and held stalls as part of their Ethical food festival.
Fairtrade Fortnight 2018 was one of our most successful. We held a breakfast meeting on 6 March at the Spurriergate Centre which was attended by a dozen councillors and local business people as well as our supporters. We have to thank the Spurriergate centre for hosting and providing the tea, coffee and toast, Fairer World for providing the jams, honey, marmalade etc and the Co-op for supplying the bananas.
The Spurriergate Centre is now sadly no longer open to the public but the space is still in use and will be available for future use and we plan to hold another event there in Fairtrade Fortnight 2019.
On 23 February York University played host to a group of 60 students from the Chevening Programme which supports overseas students at UK universities. The Forum was asked to give a talk on Fairtrade Chocolate and chocolate’s links to York as the students were also visiting the Chocolate Story Museum in the city centre. Joanna spoke to the group using images and stories from Divine and generated a lively debate amongst the students, some of whom were from cocoa growing countries like Cote Ivoire.
The York Fairtrade Schools Conference was held at York St John University on 19th March. It was attended by several local schools and over 50 children took part. This is a really enjoyable part of the work we do in York and it’s great to work with the Centre for Global Education on this.
We were lucky enough to arrange a special meeting on 10th April with York Central MP Rachael Maskell. Rachael spoke to us about the importance of local campaigners keeping up pressure on MPs and representatives so they can understand what issues are important to people. She also spoke about the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and how they fit in with fair trade and global justice. It was fantastic to hear direct from a Parliamentarian and we were delighted to get such a fantastic opportunity to spend time discussing our aims and plans with Rachael.
Rachael also spoke at the Global Justice Now national AGM which was held at the Priory Street Centre and several members of the group attended. It was great to meet campaigners from the wider trade justice movement and share ideas.
Over the summer we attended two fairs, including our first ever Pride event. Both the Pride stall – which was rainbow themed – and the Family Fun Day at Woodthorpe were a great success and introduced us to new people. They were also successful for All’s Fair who sold fair trade crafts alongside our game and leaflets providing more opportunities to talk about fair trade producer stories. Our game – where contestants pay 50p and throw balls into glasses to win fair trade prizes – was really popular at both events and we are grateful to Divine chocolate who donated the prizes. Over the summer we were also publicising the Traidcraft Exchange “Who picked your tea?” campaign which has already been successful in its aim of increasing transparency in the Assam tea supply chain.
York was lucky enough to be part of a tour of the UK conducted by two rice farmers from Malawi. Howard and Webster arrived in York on 19 September and spoke alongside John from JTS at the Priory Street Centre that evening in a very well attended event. Fairer World had a stall selling food, drink and crafts from Africa and the Kilombero rice which Howard and Webster grow was also available.
Later that week, several members of the group travelled to Leeds to attend the Fairtrade Yorkshire Conference where we met with other campiagners and shared some great ideas.
Meetings for 2019 will take place at West Offices every third Monday of the month from 6pm, every month except August and December. We would love to see you there.
You can find here the annual reports for previous years: