OFTC Minutes – 6th January 2012

January 9, 2012


6th January 2011 – Coalition Meeting – FTF Planning

Plowman Room, Town Hall

Maranda St John Nicole; Jo Clifford; Sebastian Blake; Lee Whitchar, Education Officer Botanic Gardens, Sabita; Nicola, Trading for Development; Mike McKinley (co-chair); Tim Davies (co-chair); Kate Goodacre; Rachel Smith; Judith Condor-Vidal.

Elmer and Ian Sinclair; Elizabeth Whitwick.


1. Fairtrade Foundation Report & Seminar Feedback

2. Plans for Fairtrade Fortnight
Sabita has been appointed Fairtrade Fortnight co-ordinator. We are using funds from the EU project to support this.

We’re organising a business lunch (Sabita is leading)

  • Tuesday 28th February or Tuesday 6th March from 12.30 – 2.30
  • Oxford Hub waived room hire, but charging for catering
  • We’re basing estimates on 30 people;


  • Speaker at the start;
  • Brief preview presentations from our FT business mentors;
  • Fair trade business mentors on tables to talk to over lunch;

Approached Alex Nichols, Catherine Dolan & George Monbiot. Not available, but George willing to be invited to future events. Person who spoke at flags event. Constantino in Oxfam.

Suggestion: Ask Carol. Paul from Traidcraft. Harriet Waters. Marcello from Greens Cafe. Will of Vaults and Gardens. Someone from AMT.

Suggestion: Lord Mayor of city local economic development people.Oxford City Centre Manager? Sebastian Johnson on City Partnerships? Elise Benajamin?

Suggestion: Put the call out for Fairtrade Business Mentors


  • All: Please all help with promotion of event (details on website soon)
  • All: Help to identify sponsors for the catering (ideas to Sabita)

Planned Event: Co-op producers – Trading for Development ‘Co-op, Fairtrade, Women’ (Nicola)

  • Trading for Development have been looking to develop and event linking International Women’s Festival; International Year of Co-operatives; Fairtrade Fortnight.
  • Talked with Oxford Hub and provisionally booked on 3rd/4th March to have an exhibition of resources and information. Trading for Development are providing idea and support to student groups to make something happen. The event will be signposting people to resources, including digital resources.
  • Note: The Inauguration of the International Year of Co-operatives is 12th January.

Botanical Gardens (Lee Whitchar)
Last year the Botanical Gardens focused on clothing. Lee is thinking about putting up an Exhibition in the Palm House and having a film on a loop in the education room showing the effects of Pesticides on growers in non-FT situation, and contrasting that with FT growers.

There are possibilities of linking the Coffee Producer and Banana Producers who are visiting Oxford into events at the Botanical Gardens. Contact Shabaz (Shabaz.Hussain) re: Coffee Producer, or Maranda (maranda) re: Banana producer.

Oxford Brookes (Sebastian Blake)

  • 28th February – Holding a stall for Fairtrade organisations in the City to promote and sell to students. Contact Sebastian for details.
  • 9th March – Lunchtime event specifically targeted at Caterers
  • With presentation on how different caters in the town could move towards more Fairtrade and ethical consumption.

Suggestion: Let Oxford Ethics and Environment Committee know and encourage them to come along. Should contact the hospitals as well. Should contact hospitality lists. TD to contact Nominet.

Action: Judith to forward details of city council procurement contacts to Sebastian Blake and Sabita.

Christian Concern for One World – (Maranda)

Anton – Windward Isle Banana Producer is visiting
Fairtrade Foundation are running publicity for this – but we can encourage them to promote main city events also. There are plans for a meeting on Theology of Fairtrade event at Fairtrade at St Michaels.

The Big Brew – annual Traidcraft events taking place throughout the fortnight. It is usually the main activity undertaken by Churches.

There is a co-op sponsored Kidlington event on 7th March with coffee producer. Tastings etc.

Other updates:
Also Oxford Fashion Week during second week of FT Fortnight.

Sabita has looked into banners for Fairtrade Fortnight. These cost £220 / site, and with the need to cover at least 8 sites we felt this was likely to be beyond our budget.

It was suggested we could focus on getting ‘Oxford Fairtrade City’ road signs instead – as this is something we’ve never managed to secure in the past.

The possibility of standard banners to attach to railings etc. was also discussed.

The idea of producing our calendar of events as a newletter or Newspaper was explored.

Since the meeting this idea has developed further with plans for an eight-page newspaper to feature Fairtrade information, news and content. Tim is currently looking at costs and sponsorship possibilities.

3. Plans for AGM
Left to a later meeting.

4. Any Other Business

Shared Interest AGM is taking place in Oxford 16th March 2012 (Mike McKinley)
Sally Reith is the local contact for Shared Interest, and Oxford is one of her target areas for the year. Sally would like to explore opportunities for partnering with the coalition during the year. Shared Interest help finance Fairtrade businesses.

Judith reported that Roger Jenkins has provided summary of some of his experience of OFTC to contribute to the history project.

Oxford Fairtrade City Status Renewal

January 9, 2012

In Fairtrade Fortnight we’ll be officially celebrating the renewal of Oxford’s status as a Fairtrade City, but in advance of that we’ve received feedback on our latest Fairtrade status renewal application from the Fairtrade Foundation. You can read the attached document to find out how we did, and to get ideas for how we might develop Fairtrade in Oxford in the coming years.

Renewal Feedback form – Public Version.pdf

Guest blog: Bruce Crowther, Fairtrade Towns Co-ordinator

January 9, 2012

Bruce Crowther, creator of the Fairtrade Towns idea, and Fairtrade Towns Advisor at the Fairtrade Foundation blogs on his recent visit to Oxford.

I had the great pleasure to attend and speak at the first of the EU ‘Local Government Meeting the Millennium Goals’ seminars hosted at Oxford Town Hall in November last year. As well as hearing from fair trade pioneers such as Jon Danzig (co founder of Campaign Coffee) it was great to hear how Oxford is working to promote Fairtrade with its partner cities in Germany, Austria and Hungary and in particular to learn how the City Council continues to show its support for Oxford as a Fairtrade City. I have fond memories of Oxford declaring alongside Cambridge as a Fairtrade City as part of the Ten Cities initiative, when five pairs of ‘rival’ cities agreed to make their declarations on the same day during Fairtrade Fortnight 2004.

But as the home of Oxfam it is not unusual for Oxford to be at the forefront when it comes to promoting fair trade and trade justice. During the seminar Carol Wills showed us the first fair trade product to be sold in the UK, which was a pin cushion
made by refugees in Hong Kong and sold in Oxfam shops in the 1950s. Along with Traidcraft, Oxfam was one of the first to market fair trade goods through their shops and mail order catalogues in the 1960’s and of course as Jon reminded
us Oxford was the home of Campaign Coffee. I also had the enormous pleasure to attend the first Patron Roadshow when George Alagiah, then Patron for the Fairtrade Foundation, visited Oxford in 2003 and in the same year I had the honour
to present the first Fairtrade Universities certificate to Rex Knight, then Deputy Vice Chancellor and Registrar of Oxford Brookes University. Finally, and much closer to my own home, it was the Oxfam group in Garstang that gave rise to the international movement of over 1,000 Fair Trade Towns in 23 countries when their campaign led to the people of Garstang declaring their town the world’s first Fair Trade Town in April 2000.

So long may the Oxford Fairtrade City campaign continue and I wish the Oxford Fairtrade Coalition and Oxford City Council every success in continuing to promote Fairtrade in 2012 and beyond.

Bruce Crowther
Fairtrade Towns Advisor
Fairtrade Foundation
January 2012

Oxford Fairtrade Fortnight 2012: Be There – Be Fair!

January 2, 2012

Find the latest plans on our Fairtrade Fortnight 2012 pages

Monday 27th February to Sunday 11th March 2012.

This year the Fairtrade Foundation is asking everyone to Take a Step for Fairtrade: “It can be a simple step like swapping your tea to Fairtrade, or a bigger step, like asking everyone in your office to do it too.” For more information, visit www.step.fairtrade.org.uk

Take your next step for Fairtrade in Oxford:

Oxford Fairtrade Fortnight 2012 Newspaper

Oxford Fairtrade Coalition is compiling a special edition Newspaper to celebrate Fairtrade Fortnight 2012. It will contain articles about Fairtrade issues, a two page pullout map – courtesy of Daily Info – showing where you can buy Fairtrade products in Oxford, and a calendar of all the thrilling Fairtrade events that are taking place during the Fortnight. These include film screenings, producer fairs,  discussions about the ethics and impact of Fairtrade, tasting sessions and lots more.  Look out for you copy of Oxford Fairtrade News which will be widely circulated in Oxford shops, churches, libraries and community centres  mid-February. Or contact yourfairtradecity@gmail.com for a copy or if you can offer to display it in your workplace or social venue.

In the meantime, here’s a list of all the places you can buy Fairtrade in Oxford:

Where to find Fairtrade in Oxford


For  the latest information on fair trade and Oxford’s Fairtrade Fortnight 2012 activities, quotes, photo opportunities etc, please contact Sabita Banerji at yourfairtradecity@gmail.com or call 07773949787.

Fairtrade Coalition Meeting This Friday – 6th January – 5.30pm

January 2, 2012

Dear all

Happy New Year. I hope you have had a enjoyable Christmas time. Let me take this first message of the year to thank you for all your support for Fair Trade in Oxford in 2011, which was another good year for us. Recent feedback from the Fairtrade Foundation on our recertification as a Fairtrade City included much praise for the diversity of activities to promote Fairtrade taking place in Oxford, from community groups to local retailers; and the City’s current Corporate Plan consultation (http://bit.ly/vdealy) includes positive recognition of the work of many coalition members in developing Oxford as a hub of shared learning around Fairtrade, including with our recent EU seminar. Your support for Fairtrade continues to make a difference to producers across the world – showing how alternative models of trading can promote fairness, environmental sustainability and development.

And with Fairtrade Fortnight 2012 fast approaching, we’re also looking forward to the coming year. Sabita Banerji (07773949787 / yourfairtradecity) is working part time with the coalition over the coming months to help create a directory of all activities for Fairtrade Fortnight, to help catalyse new activities, and to support promotion of your plans – and on this Friday, 6th January, we’ll be meeting at the Town Hall (room tbc. please check e-mails on Thursday) at 5.30 to get all plans fully underway.

This is likely to be our main Fairtrade Fortnight planning meeting, as many coalition members are travelling and away from Oxford over January and early February, so please join us if you can. The agenda will also include updates on our Fairtrade Finder mobile phone application that is under development, and plans for an AGM and speaker event in April for World Fair Trade Day.

New members and visitors are welcome to all meetings. We are particularly keen to find volunteers with time to offer between now and March to support Fairtrade Fortnight activities.

We will aim to keep the meeting brief, and will retire to the Old Tom pub following the meeting for those who want to join some more informal conversation on plans for the coming year.

If you can’t make the meeting, but have news on Fairtrade Fortnight plans, please do get in touch with Sabita, and check out the details on our website at http://www.oxfairtrade.org.uk

All best wishes

Tim Davies