07 Jul 2022 AGM
We held our AGM on June 8th. Part from the usual business of the meeting was an outline given by Bernadette Fagan of our planned activities for the coming year. We will have a pitch, shared with Caldbeck Fairtrade Campaign, at the Agricultural Show in August. We will again have a stall at the Victorian Fayre, an entry into the Christmas Tree competition and a display at Booths.
2023 marks 20 years of the campaign’s existence and we hope to celebrate it in a variety of ways. We plan to have a market stall in March, with the support of Lakes and Dales. At Easter we hope to have a display in Booths. May 13th is World Fairtrade Day so again we will book a market stall. Bernadette has been in touch with Hope Park and we have put in an application for the Fairtrade logo to be recreated in flowers in the round bed near the entry to the Park from the Theatre.
Bernadette has been investigating the rentable space at the Moot Hall [which the campaign made use of some years back] and we are intending to have a display and events there which would involve inviting children in particular to visit. It is also possible that Jo Alberti will get together with Joe Human and John Howell to present the story of Choche in a public talk with a display. There are many appropriate display boards, John and Patricia told us, which are now lying low in the Howell’s house.
Anne Baird is planning a display/event at the Museum jointly with Sustainable Keswick and the WI.
After the business of the AGM, Jo Alberti gave an illustrated talk about the assistance Fair Trade provides for farmers to adapt to climate change. She focused first on farmers on the West Bank in Palestine who are suffering from drought exacerbated by the fact that Palestinian water supply and total land usage is controlled by the Israeli Government. Olives are the main crop grown by Fairtrade farmers in Palestine and they are resistant to drought but rely on weather and rain at particular times of the year and these have been erratic. The Palestinian Fairtrade Association[PTFA] has been helping farmers by encouragement and guidance towards regenerative farming, including intercropping and the planting of cover crops, and composting between the trees. Palestinian farmers perennially experience the destruction of their olive trees by Israelis from some of the settlements and the PTFA also provides more trees through the Trees for Life programme. Palestinian olive oil is bought by Zaytoun which commits to an annual volume of purchases of olives and almonds at the harvest system, securing the contract by advanced payments. Zaytoun’s olive oil is available in Oxfam in Keswick.
Jo then looked at the situation in Ethiopia where the impact of climate change is somewhat different but equally threatening. The main Fairtrade crop in Ethiopia is coffee and prolonged dry periods are weakening coffee trees and affecting flowering and fruit setting. High temperatures and unseasonal rains and heavy rainfalls compound these problems. Fairtrade Africa has developed a Coffee Climate Academy guide for coffee farmers in Eastern and Central Africa. The purpose is to enable them to adapt to the effects of climate change and achieve sustainable production. Fairtrade The Guide outlines the best farm practices such as soil and water management, mulching, terracing and careful pruning. On-farm planting of trees is also encouraged together with shade management.
Fairtrade has equipped 10, 000 coffee farmers Ethiopia, including the Oromia Fairtrade co-operative of which farmers in Choche are members, with efficient cookstoves that reduce carbon emissions by up to 70 percent using crop residue and animal dung as fuel. These stoves save women time in collecting wood and also cut down on smoke pollution.
Jo then introduced two Fairtrade women farmers. Mary Kinyua is a Fairtrade flower farmer from Kenya who was the Fairtrade International Board representative to COP 26. Jo read out her reaction to COP 26 which began with the comment that “COP 26’s outcome is in many ways a cop out…” She and her colleagues represented 1.8 million Fairtrade farmers who “came to Glasgow in good faith, hoping world leaders would listen to our voices and keep their promises.“ In particular she said it was hard to understand why the climate finance promise of $100 billion per year for farmers in the developing world was still outstanding, and that there was no commitment at COP 26 to pay for the unavoidable loss and damage faced by communities in poorer countries whose contribution to greenhouse gas emissions has been negligible.
Jo’s final slide showed Bassema Barameh preparing maftoul whose meaning is ‘hand-rolled.’ Bassema Barameh is a member of the Anza Women’s Cooperative situated 450 metres above sea level in the north of the West Bank. The co-operative was provided with micro-loans to enable the women to start their own projects and maftoul is the main business. It is made from a blending of water, bulgur and whole wheat flour. The wheat is grown in a traditional organic system, and Fairtrade has in the past invested in varieties of wheat that are rain-fed and drought resistant. The maftoul, like the olive oil, is bought by Zaytoun and sold into the UK. It is available to buy from Traidcraft.