Fairtrade City Launched

March 5, 2004

Oxford City’s Fairtrade Status was launched at a event in Oxford Town Hall on the 5th March 2004. The event, reported here on IndyMedia, included The Lord Mayor and speakers from the International Federation for Alternative Trade, Kuapa Kokoo Cocoa Cooperative (Ghana), and Oxford Brookes – the countries first Fairtrade University.

Fairtrade City Launched

Fairtrade City Launched

At the time this report was written for the Fairtrade Coalition website:

Town Hall guests fell silent on Friday March 5th 2004 as a personal message from Nelson Mandela congratulating Oxford on its launch as a Fairtrade City was read out by the Lord Mayor Cllr Pat Stannard.

Mr Mandela, who was given the freedom of the city on behalf of all South Africans in 1997, stated, “I again rejoice and congratulate you on your continuing work to promote social justice and development in our world. Fair trade offers producers in developing countries a just return for their labour and an opportunity to help their communities to grow and develop with the proceeds they receive.”

“By supporting Fairtrade, Oxford is affirming once more its commitment to partnership and friendship with people in South Africa and around the world. In a world where much trade is not fair, such partnerships and friendships offer hope for the future. Together, we are taking steps towards building a more just world economy.”

Strong applause met his final words:
“This is an important step forward. We must continue on this path, to build real opportunities and freedom for us all.” Minutes later, a samba band filled the Town Hall with music to celebrate the launch.

Speakers at the Oxford reception were:

*

Carol Wills, Executive Director of the International Fair Trade Association;

*

Cllr. Pat Stannard,

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Lord Mayor of the City of Oxford;

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Rex Knight, deputy vice-chancellor of Oxford Brookes;

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Georgina Kwaw and Elizabeth Adjei, recorders from the Kuapa Kokoo cocoa cooperative in Ghana.

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Roy Scott, owner of the One Village fair-trade stores, presented a certificate from the Fairtrade Foundation to the Lord Mayor.

Guests at the reception included:

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Mr. Carlos Betancour, charge d’affaires for Uruguay, Mr.

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Hugo Brunner, the Lord Lieutenant of Oxfordshire;

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Mr. Gustavo Meza-Cuadra, charge d’affaires for Peru;

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Dr. Evan Harris, MP for Oxford West and Abingdon;

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Ian Leggett, director of the campaigning organisation People and Planet;

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Roy Scott, founder of One Village;

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Kate Sebag, co-founder of Tropical Wholefoods, a Fairtrade food company;

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Rt.Hon. Andrew Smith, MP for Oxford East;

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Sophi Tranchell, managing director of Divine Chocolate Company.


Fairtrade Fortnight 2004

March 1, 2004

2004 saw a wealth of Fairtrade Fortnight activities taking place across Oxford. A full list of the activities planned can be seen below.

What

Organisation

Date

Time

Venue

Details

What is Fairness?

Presentation and discussion

Oxford Economics Forum

1 March

7:30 pm

Oxford Union (upstairs)

The Office of Fair Trading –Fairtrade Fortnight Special

Cost: Union and Forum members free, others £3.50. Contact: http://www.oxfordeconomicsforum.co.uk

Question Time event

Brookes Students

3 March

2:30 pm

Oxford Brookes

with Justino Peck, pres. of the Toledo Cacao Growers Assn. (Belize – supplying the cocoa for Maya Gold), representatives from

The Fairtrade Foundation, Oxford Brookes and others.

“Bring and share” Fairtrade Supper

3 March

7:30 pm

Wesley Memorial Church

with Justino Peck

Open to the public

“Make it Work: 21st century approaches to international trade and development”

Oxford University Students Fairtrade Coalition

4 March

7:00 pm

Flora Anderson Hall, Somerville Coll.

Panel discussion with Arthur Edwards (Oxford Economics Forum), Dr. Edmund VK Fitzgerald (Reader in International Economics and Finance at St Antony`s College), Dr. Terry O’Shaughnessy (Fellow & Tutor in Economics at St Anne’s College) and David Ransom (Co-editor, New Internationalist)

Launch reception

5 March

12:30 – 2

Town Hall

. Scheduled speakers include the Lord Mayor, Carol Wills (Exec.Dir. International Fair Trade Assn.), Mr. Rex Knight (Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Oxford Brookes), Georgina and Eliz/sabeth Recorders, Kuapa Kokoo Cocoa Cooperative, Ghana)

Invitation only

Fairtrade Fair

fairtrade@st.michael’s

6 March

11 – 4

St Michaels – Cornmarket

Fairtrade Fair, with jazz, tastings, and more.

Open to the public

Exhibition

Oxford Botanic Gardens

6 March to 14 March

9 – 4

Oxford Botanic Gardens

Women, Plants and Fairtrade”

Rainforest Tours

Oxford Botanic Gardens

6 March

2 and 3 pm

Oxford Botanic Gardens

(see plants used in Fairtrade)

Fairtrade Fair

Oxford Brookes

8 March

11-4

Brookes Student Union Headington Hill)

Dinner with Cambridge Cyclist

OFC

8 March

evening

location to be determined

Women’s Festival

8 March

7 -9:30 PM

Town Hall

Festival Evening “Feast or Famine” in celebration of International Women’s Day.

Rosemary Thorp (chair, Oxfam), Kathryn Tulip (Corporate Watch), Helen Peacocke (Oxford Times) on “The Politics and Economics of Food” With locally oduced/Fairtrade refreshments.

pen to the public: tickets £6/£4 from the In Oxford shop (Covered Market)

Off they go! Departure of “Spokes of the Wheel” cyclists.

OFC/Brookes

9 March

?

Brookes

“How Fairtrade Purchasing Relieves Poverty”

9 March

1:00 pm

Friends Meeting House Quaker Centre/FT@SM

43 St. Giles

lunchtime talk by members

of Oxford Fairtrade Cooperative

Rainforest Talk

Oxford Botanic Gardens

13 March

2,3 pm

Oxford Botanic Gardens

as for 6th March

Free coffee at Starbucks

15 March

?

Starbucks (Cornmarket)

Peter William (Oxfam) discusses coffee farmers around the world. Free cup of coffee.

Here is what the Coalition Website had to say after the events

Fairtrade Fortnight 2004 saw a wide range of activities organized by OFC members and others around the city.

  • The festivities began on March 1st at the Oxford Union with the Oxford Economics Forum’s symposium asking “what is fairness?”
  • Two days later, Justino Peck, president of the Toledo Cacao Growers Association in Belize, which provides cocoa for Maya Gold, joined officials and students at Oxford Brookes University for a “Question-Time” style event. Audience members listened with interest as Peck described the benefits of Fairtrade . . . and Oxford Brookes’ catering manager detailed the staggering amounts of Fairtrade products consumed by the world’s first Fairtrade University. That evening, Peck joined Oxford campaigners and others for a relaxed “bring-and-share” supper and conversation at Wesley Memorial Methodist Church.
  • Oxford University students had organized a panel discussion, entitled “Make It Work: 21st century approaches to international trade and development” for March 4th. The panel featured Oxford economists Dr. Edmund VK Fitzgerald and Dr. Terry O’Shaugnessy, New Internationalist Co-editor David Ransom, the Oxford Economics Forum’s Arthur Edwards, and the director of local NGO Africa Now. Conversation was lively, as panelists and audience debated wider issues of liberalisation, global trade rules, and the place of Fair Trade within the global economy.
  • After the launch of Oxford as a Fairtrade City on the 5th, you would have thought that there might be a lull . . . but no such thing was happening! Instead, on the 6th of March, Fairtrade @ St. Michael’s, one of Oxford’s Fairtrade shops, held a special “Fairtrade Fair,” with jazz, tastings, and special offers. The Oxford Botanical Gardens, meanwhile, premiered an exhibition called “Women, Plants and Fairtrade” and a “Rainforest Tour” introducing people to the “plants behind the products”
  • Two days later, on March 8th, Oxford Brookes played host to a Fairtrade Fair, replete with Fairtrade food and beautiful and unusual gifts, clothes and other products. From silverchilli jewelry to exquisite alpaca shawls to ginger cookies, it was all available!

    That evening, at the Town Hall, a festival celebrating International Women’s Day featured locally produced and Fairtrade refreshments, as well as talks by Rosemary Thorp (Oxfam’s chair) and others on “The Politics and Economics of Food.

  • On March 9th, members of the Oxford Fairtrade Cooperative, which runs Fairtrade @ St. Michael’s, spoke at the Oxford Quaker Centre on “How Fairtrade Purchasing Relieves Poverty.”
  • And, with Fairtrade Fortnight drawing to a close, two final events rounded out the list. On the 13th of March, Artworks for Africa, a Fair Trade shop in Summertwon, offered free Fairtrade coffee to all visitors to its gallery of African arts. And on March 15th, Peter Williams of Oxfam spoke in the Cornmarket Starbucks about the impact of Fairtrade on coffee producers around the world.