24 May AGM & Annual Report 2018
AGM – 6th June
The Keswick Fair Trade Campaign AGM will be held on Wednesday June 6th at Crosthwaite Parish Rooms at 7pm
Annual Report 2018
The Big Picture:
UK sales of Fairtrade products continue to rise, with new independent sales figures revealing that retail sales for Fairtrade grew by 7% in 2017, alongside increased business engagement. Volumes were also up. Among the best performing categories was Fairtrade alcohol, which saw volume growth of 29%, driven in part by the continued growth of Co-op’s Own Label Fairtrade wine as well as Tesco expanding their range of Finest Fairtrade wine. Elsewhere, the volume of frozen confectionary sold grew by more than 30%: 2017 was the year Ben and Jerry’s launched their Non Dairy ice cream – a Fairtrade first in the UK.
These figures exclude out of home sales, through coffee shops and other outlets and the impact of Fairtrade’s wider programme partnership work with companies such as Mondelez and Waitrose. The Foundation is exploring new ways of working with business and has undertaken a supply chain mapping and transparency pilot, funded by the Department for International Development. Through this work Fairtrade intends to do its best to influence and assist businesses looking to tackle human rights abuses and modern slavery risks in their supply chains.
In Fairtrade Fortnight we had a stall on the market. The main aim was to draw attention to Fairtrade Fortnight – to remind as many people as possible about Fairtrade. The stall was planned by Bernadette Fagan who has a real talent for creating an eye-catching display. We also raffled a hamper of Fairtrade products donated to us by Lakes and Dales Co-op. The Fairtrade Service this year was held in the Quaker Meeting House in Keswick.
Just before Christmas Bob Bryden and Bernadette arranged with Booths to have a display of Fairtrade products . Two tables were provided by the entrance door and Bernadette made a number of gifts and displayed ideas of items available in Booths. Four of us stood outside Sainsbury’s in October as part of the ‘Don’t Ditch Fairtrade’ Campaign: Sainsbury’s have abandoned Fairtrade certification on some of their own-brand tea products and pilot their own ‘Fairly Traded’ scheme instead Mike gave a talk to an enthusiastic audience in a primary school in Maryport and Jo gave one on Trade Justice at the Brampton Fairtrade Campaign AGM and then two talks on the same theme in Carlisle in May. Our plans to have a film ‘advertising’ Fairtrade at the Alhambra has not yet happened – but we have not given up.
John and Patricia Howell visited the farmers in the villages in November on behalf of Rotary. It is clear that the farmers are facing problems which are largely the result of climate change. The rains necessary for the flowering of the coffee trees in the first three months of the year simply have not happened for the past three years. The result has been poor crops: whereas in the past 30 truckloads of beans left the village, there have recently been only 6. The other significant problem has been the government clampdown because of civil unrest in Oromia: this has prevented any use of the internet, so communication with Rotary has been severely curtailed. The response of the co-operative has been measured and sensible, allowing loans to be taken out for 3 years instead of 1. John and Patricia visited the Mill at Endode which is doing good business. There is a demand for a dry mill for crops other than corn, such as teff, which John suggested it would be possible to finance from the profits that are being made.
We are all well aware that leaving the European Union will make a marked difference to our trading relation with the world. For Trade Justice campaigners the main interest is the UK’s treaty arrangements with developing countries. There are potential dangers for these countries such as an increase in the cost of trading with the UK, a reduced demand for their products and increased bureaucracy to meet the demands of multiple markets. But there are also possibilities if the UK aimed at trade arrangements which were development-friendly. For example, more flexible rules of origin than currently available under EU provisions could be introduced; support could be given to regional integration in Africa and stability for commercial relationships and investment decisions could be assured by committing to arrangements for 10 years.
Download a pdf version of this Annual Report