The 2020 AGM was held via Zoom on 19 October 2020 and the following Annual Report was delivered:
YORK FAIRTRADE FORUM ANNUAL REPORT 2020
Overall, it’s been a year of cancellations, and learning to cope with an unprecedented situation. However, the Forum has continued meeting (on Zoom) and some events took place before the lockdown.
For Fairtrade Fortnight, a sofa event was organised at Spurriergate, with a focus on the theme of ‘She Deserves’. Central to this was the visit of Rosine, a cocoa farmer from Cote d’Ivoire, who joined a panel including Rachael Maskell M.P. and other women involved in Fairtrade. The event was well attended and positively received.
In March, the Fairtrade Forum combined with South Bank Community Cinema to show the film ‘The Kite Runner’, and Joanna gave a talk on child labour and Fair Trade. There was also a Fairtrade stall.
At one of our meetings, Jeremy Piercy, from Shared Earth, gave a talk about how Fairtrade can help in the fight against climate change, and in promoting environmental issues. He explained how the World Fairtrade Organisation is involved in this.
Representations were made to York Railway Station, as the entry point for many visitors, about advertising the fact that York is a Fairtrade city. LNER are responsible for the station, and the LNER website has the Fairtrade logo, but they seem to have no interest in going further than that.
The shop, Fairer World, has closed temporarily, but online orders and deliveries continue.
The summer events in parks, etc were all cancelled, but two of them, York Pride and West Bank Park, have rolled subscriptions over until next year. These are some of the main opportunities to publicise Fairtrade and the Fairtrade Forum, as well as to sell Fairtrade goods, and it has been a major drawback.
The Fairtrade Forum has continued meetings on Zoom, enabling us to keep up to date with what is happening and, eventually, to plan ahead, as far as the situation permits.
A major issue this year has been Nestle’s decision to withdraw from its commitment to use Fairtrade cocoa and sugar in Kitkat production, 10 years after starting this. It is going to work with the Rainforest Alliance, but two major differences will be the removal of the Fairtrade premium; and the lack of a minimum price guarantee. A petition, with nearly 300,000 signatures has been handed in at the Nestle factory, with members of York Fairtrade Forum in attendance, accompanied by a photographer. The day was covered by the BBC website and Joanna was interviewed on BBC Radio York Also, the petition was raised in Parliament by Yorkshire MPs Holly Lynch, Jason McCartney and Rachael Maskell and their SNP colleague Patrick Grady. A call is being made for customers to Take a Break from Kitkat and choose Fairtrade instead.
York Fairtrade Forum meetings continue every third Monday of the month at 6pm, on Zoom until we can resume meeting in person at the West Offices. Everyone with an interest in Fairtrade is very welcome to join.
York Fair Trade Forum Financial Report 2019-2020
2020 has been a difficult year for everyone. All the community events where we normally have a stall were cancelled this summer, meaning that our usual source of annual income has been severely curtailed.
However in October 2019 Fairtrade Yorkshire bought 200 copies of the book to use in goodie bags for participants in the 25th birthday event in Hull, which added £400 to our coffers. When this is added to Fairtrade Fortnight event donations and infrequent but steady online book sales our income for 2019-20 was £501.52.
Our expenditure included £95 public liability insurance via the Fairtrade Foundation – which we are informed may no longer be available to us from next year, and £144 hosting for the website. In addition to our usual stall fees – most of which have been rolled over to 2021 – our expenditure for 2019-20 was £329
This represents an overall annual profit of £172.52
Current assets: £1169.11
Co-op bank: £529.30
Shared Interest: £615.71
Cash in hand: £24.10
You can find here the annual reports for previous years: