Minutes of Fairtrade Coalition Meeting

April 22, 2011

Below are minutes of Tuesday’s meeting. You can also find minutes online in our Google Docs folder here.

Minutes of Oxford Fair Trade Coalition meeting

Wednesday 20th April 2011


Tim Davies – OFTC co-chair, Mike McKinley – OFTC co-chair, Sabita Banerji – Just Change (minutes), Rachel Capell – Oxford City Council, John Coyle – Headington Fairtrade, Sebastian Johnson – Oxford City Council, Susan King, Ian Prichard – Khwenda Kor, Elma Sinclair – Khwenda Kor, Maranda St John Nicolle – CCOW, Rachel Smith, Carol Wills – (via Skype), Patricia Wright – Oxford Quakers

1. Apologies:

Elizabeth Whitwick – Headington Fairtrade, Alex Nicolls – Said Business School, Val, Julie Osbourne

2. Minutes of last meeting:

No minutes were taken at the last meeting as it was a brief session just before the Fair Trade Fortnight bunting event.

3. World Fair Trade Day

WFTD is on May 14th. Many of those present will not be in Oxford on that date. However it was agreed that we could mark the day by sending messages to all our contacts by postcard or email to raise awareness of fair trade.

  • Sabita to email a suggestion for how this could work to OFTC members

3.1 – The WFTO have asked us to provide a message for World Fair Trade Day
Carol was asked by the WFTO Secretariat if we could get celebrities to provide a message, but she thought it may be easier to get a message from the OFTC itself.

  • OFTC members to think of any Oxford city-based celebrities they may have links with and ask them to send a message endorsing FT.
  • Tim to forward Carol’s email to Sebastian.
  • Sebastian to draft a letter of greeting and ask the Lord Mayor, the leader of Oxford City Council, Andrew Smith MP and Nicola Blackwood MP to add messages.

4. Feedback from Fairtrade Fortnight

Tim reported that it was a very successful event generating interest and participation among many people who would not normally have been involved in fair trade. The bunting is in the process of being transported to the Foundation.
Lots of good photographs were taken and can be seen on the OFTC website. These could be made into postcards etc.
One learning point was that more could have been done to get media coverage of the event.

5. Renewal of Fairtrade Towns Status

We are required to submit a report to the Fair Trade Foundation by July in order to renew our Fairtrade Town status. We need to tell them if there have been any changes in fair trade provision in different parts of the city since the last report about two years ago.
This should be combined with trying to forge and/or reinforce links with universities, colleges, community groups etc. Also with encouraging shops/caterers etc to stock fair-trade goods, although this would need to be handled carefully and promoted in a positive, encouraging way rather than in a lecturing, judgemental way, eg invite them to celebrate Oxford’s FT status by stocking FT goods.
Could involve writers, designers photographers, volunteers on bikes and foot (to go round city and find FT products), software developers (to develop a way of receiving and collating all the information coming in) etc coming together for a concentrated period of time, culminating in a party. Would be good opportunity for local media coverage and involvement.
Ideal date would be June 4th which is the day of a global celebration of the 1000th Fairtrade Town.
As it will be a big job to research and compile all this information, the meeting agreed that someone should be hired to manage the process including co-ordinating volunteers to gather the information.
OCC may be able to offer some funds towards this. OFTC also has funds available for this and agreed that the money is worth spending for the benefits it will bring.
Sabita signalled her interest and availability in the role.

The criteria we need to fulfil Status
Local council passes a resolution supporting Fairtrade, and agrees to serve Fairtrade tea and coffee at its meetings and in its offices and canteens. Still valid – but need to check if fair trade has been mentioned in session recently.
A range of (at least two) Fairtrade products is readily available in the area’s shops and local cafés/catering establishments. Update needed – suggest focus on catering outlets.
NB as most food shops stock KitKat and Dairy Milk (now fair-trade), criteria may become two categories rather than two products.
Fairtrade products are used by a number of local work places (estate agents, hairdressers etc) and community organisations (churches, schools etc) Update needed
Attract media coverage and popular support for the campaign. We now have records to back this up
A local Fairtrade steering group is convened to ensure continued commitment to its Fairtrade Town status. Still valid – ie this group

Other ideas and suggestions:

  • We have published a directory in the past – this is less relevant now as so many more places provide FT goods for sale. However, may be useful to have a list of particularly good FT providers. The other “big win” could be catering.
  • Map of Oxford with FT outlets marked. This could be sold by tourist information etc.
  • Ask Daily Info if they would agree to have a “Fair Trade corner” in the info sheet or flag up which of the businesses that advertise with them are FT.
  • Ask Daily Info if they would consider producing a special edition for Fairtrade Fortnight 2012
  • Oxford City Council should have FT drinks vending machines at town hall etc. for the general public after office hours.
  • Kellog College is about to apply for FT status. Check with other colleges, eg Ruskin. Oxford Brookes still FT. Link with Oxford University has gone cold again.


  • Tim and Sabita to meet and draw up a proposal.
  • Tim to email the existing list of fair trade retailers to the group
  • Sebastian to check if FT has been mentioned in council session recently
  • Sabita to approach Daily Info about idea of asking advertisers whether or not they are FT and flagging this up on website and info sheet and/or producing special edition for Fairtrade Fortnight 2012
  • Patricia to look into Oxford County Council provision of FT catering at adult education venues (or lack of).
  • Sebastian to pass on message about need for FT drinks vending machine

6. Campaigners Connected Invitation

Oxford University Students Union Environment & Ethics Committee has invited two members of OFTC to attend a “Campaigners Connected” dinner on May 22nd as “an opportunity to share conversation and fine food with other groups and individuals in Oxford – from the town and university, who are working in/on matters of the environment and ethics.”
The dinner costs £20 per person which could be covered by OFTC since this is a valuable networking opportunity that could renew links with Oxford University that have been lost.
Mike, Tim, Rachel and Sabita expressed an interest in attending.
– Tim to ask the Committee if we can have four places.

7. Maryam Bibi in UK

Elmer has let us know that Maryam Bibi of Khwendo Kor will be in the UK and may be available to take part in an event between 25 June – 9 July. It is suggested we look to support/co-organise an event/social during this time. Elma Sinclair is liaising with Maryam.
Maryam is in the UK to collect an honorary degree from the University of York. Her work includes using fair-trade to get women in the Northwest Frontier Province of Pakistan out of their houses – they are normally not allowed out, even to meet other women. This is dangerous work because of Taleban presence in the area. More information at www.frok.org.uk or www.khwendokor.org.pk or Google ‘Maryam’s Mission’
She is a good and charismatic speaker so a speaking event would be appropriate. Potential venues: Peace House or Friends Meeting House. FMH seats more people so may be more appropriate. Could combine the event with Oxford Women’s Network meeting on 2nd July at FMH. Suggested title: “Fairtrade Frontiers”
OFTC will organise and publicise event. Friends of Khwendo Kor will help with planning, running and costs.
– Patricia to check availability of Friends Meeting House and liaise with Elmer and Ian.

7. Funding proposals (Tim)

Inspired by the success of the Fair Trade Fortnight bunting event, Tim and Maranda discussed the idea of offering small grants (approx. £50) to local groups as an incentive to organise more events like this. The meeting agreed this was an excellent idea. We could also ask Midcounties Co-operative for matched funding.
Action: Explore at a future meeting

8. European Seminar (Mike)

Mike and Rachel attending a planning meeting in Bonn for this local government initiative to encourage co-operation and understanding between local government and NGOs on Millennium Development Goal areas such as climate change and livelihoods. Funds are being offered for representatives of local government and NGOs in Oxford(UK), Bonn & Potsdam (Germany), Villach (Austria), and Sopron (Hungary) to hold a series of seminars over the next three years. Oxford will lead by organising the first seminar which will be on fair trade. There will be two people from each partner country. The purpose is to share learning on the most effective ways of taking forward the MDG campaigns at this level.
Rachel has approached Oxford Brookes as a potential venue and to provide accommodation. They suggested end of August, but this is not an ideal time for the seminar as many people will be away. The first week of September would be better. If Oxford Brookes unable to accommodate, alternative would be to hold seminar at Town Hall.
Suggested format would be a larger, open meeting one afternoon to discuss the issues – could involve representatives from Oxfam, academics, etc. And a smaller seminar the next morning – involving partner members only – to consolidate previous day’s discussion and agree outcomes and implications. Once the date is set, key note speakers will be invited.
– Rachel to go back to Oxford Brookes to suggest new dates.
– Rachel to put together a plan
– Mike to liaise with Rachel on how OFTC will be involved

9. Any Other Business

Elizabeth Whitwick:
OFTC sent best wishes to Elizabeth who has been very unwell
Oxfordshire County Fairtrade status:
Maranda reported that a recent meeting of representatives from fair-trade groups around Oxfordshire agreed that rather than try for FT status at county level, groups would attempt to achieve it at district level.
Co-operative Fortnight:
This runs from 25 June 2011-9 July 2011. Windmill Fairtrade shop is involved with an event in Headington on July 8th.

10. Next Meeting

Wednesday 1st June, 4.30 pm.
Key dates:

May 14th World Fairtrade Day & Midcounties Co-operative AGM
May 22nd Campaigners Connected dinner at Vaults & Gardens Café
June 1st Next OFTC meeting
June 4th 1000th Fairtrade Town global celebration & OFTC Fair Trade status renewal event
mid-July Deadline for OFTC Fair Trade status renewal submission
25 June -9 July Co-operative Fortnight
July 2nd Oxford Women’s Network meeting – possible date for Maryam Bibi talk.
July 8th Headington co-operative fortnight event (including Headington Fairtrade)
Sept (first week) Possible date for European Local Gov/NGO MDG seminar on Fair Trade.