Tea Grower from Kenya to visit Felixstowe

Jenny Brabazon from the committee of Felixstowe Fairtrade Forum writes about a big announcement made at the Forum’s 2015 AGM on 6 November at the town hall.

AGMs can, let’s face it, be rather dull affairs but that of Felixstowe Fairtrade Forum this year was anything but. Firstly because we had a speaker from the national Fairtrade Foundation, Rachael Sweet, communities, campaigns manager and secondly because a producer tour was announced for 2016.

The Fairtrade Foundation is the body which audits standards and awards the official fairtrade logo. Rachel’s presence ensured we had representatives from fairtrade towns across Suffolk, including Ipswich, Bury and Sudbury.

Rachel’s presentation was really inspiring. She spoke about the Foundation’s current campaign, Show Your Hand, Make Trade Fair, work with businesses and councils and fairtrade in the workplace.

She also announced that a fairtrade grower from Kenya will be touring Suffolk and staying for a few days in Felixstowe during next year’s Fairtrade Fortnight which runs from Monday 29th February to Sunday 13th March 2016. The theme for next year’s Fairtrade Fortnight is breakfast and we are hoping to have fairtrade breakfasts organised in workplaces, churches and schools and the town council has already volunteered to have one at the town hall.

For the AGM business itself, members and visitors were welcomed by Town Mayor, Doreen Savage, who said how pleased she was with progress over the last year, particularly in involving the town’s Youth Forum in planning events around Fairtrade Fortnight. The meeting heard from secretary Stephen Wyatt on activities during the year. He said the Forum was pleased that Felixstowe had had its Fairtrade Town status renewed and was grateful to the Town Council for its support and for giving an award to the Forum for ‘outstanding service to the town of Felixstowe.’ The year’s accounts also showed once again that the Forum is on a healthy financial footing thanks to events such as the launch of Fairtrade Fortnight at St John’s church, regular walks and coffee mornings and Art on the Prom.

Membership of the Felixstowe Fairtrade Forum is free and we welcome new members at any time. You can join on line at www.felixstowe-fairtrade.org.uk, by filling in a form from the library or by contacting secretary Stephen Wyatt on 01394 671033.

Fairtrade helps small scale farmers in the developing world by ensuring that they earn fair and stable incomes and have long term contracts with companies. In addition, they earn a Fairtrade Premium, which they invest as the farmer-owned co-operative democratically choses in projects that will benefit their business or community.

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