Sutton FAIRTRADE Community Group
Report to AGM 26.6.2016
Sutton is a Fairtrade Borough its status was originally obtained 1.3.2007 and most recently renewed 5.10.2015 for 2 years .
Chairpersons’ report to AGM
This report will cover the period of the past year. As this would be the first AGM of the group the sequencing of future AGMs should be agreed by the members of the group.
Membership and participation
The group currently has 10 members who include representatives from the business and religious communities in Sutton as well as the nominated representative from Sutton Council who is also the Deputy leader .There are also representatives from the voluntary sector including Eco local. Currently there are no representatives from schools although the group has developed links and networks with individuals in particular schools over the course of time.
The group is a member of the London regional Fairtrade Forum and representatives attend the Quarterly meetings that are held at City Hall.
The group has compiled and ACTION PLAN which informs its activity for the year and is integral to the awarding of its borough status. The principle provisions and themes of the action plan are :
- On -going liaison with relevant council departments with a view to the encouragement of FAIRTRADE procurement. This has involved meetings and follow up communications with the borough’s procurement officer in relation to the procurement arrangements for Fairtrade products to be available in council facilities, parks and leisure centres ,and schools.
- Awareness raising in relation to the Borough’s FAIRTRADE status . This involved attendance at all the borough’s local committee meetings between February and July 2016 . The group made a presentation at the Beddington committee and provided an information stall at all the other meetings . It remains an objective of the group to work with the council to try and effect the provision of signage to the effect that Sutton is a FAIRTRADE borough.
- In other years the group has provided a poster display for Sutton Library during FAIRTRADE fortnight though did not do so on 2016.
- Holding stalls to sell and publicise FAIRTRADE . The group has facilitated a stall at the environmental Fayre every year on August bank holiday Monday . This is combined with the TRAIDCRAFT stall which is facilitated by a group member .The group has also usually held a stall in a central location in Sutton – usually the St Nicholas Centre ,- during FAIRTRADE fortnight in February / March.
- The group has also held a stall as part of the Wallington Farmers market and one occasion at a school fayre in the form of running the tea / coffee refreshment tent.
- To undertake an annual audit of all FAIRTRADE outlets in the borough which is then published on the group’s website . This is a significant exercise which involves visiting all shops and cafes in person in the borough with a view to identifying the FAIRTRADE products that they sell. This is an opportunity to raise awareness about FAIRTRADE and the borough status in conversations with retailers. Leaflets and copies of the certificates are provided to retailers as part of this process.
- Where possible the group will try to respond to requests to give talks about Fairtrade at local schools, however the capacity of the group is limited in this respect to one member so the group does not actively promote this as a line of activity.
- The group attempts to build and maintain ongoing links with the extensive network on churches in the borough . A group member maintains a directory of church contacts which is utilised for mail out purposes . Unfortunately however this activity has rarely generated any response. The group has provided content for church newsletters in the past . In 2016 the group organised a FAIRTRADE breakfast in partnership with a Trinity Church Sutton.A group representative facilitates a FAIRTRADE stall at a Carshalton Church . In previous years the group has liaised with the cinema that is held at Carshalton Methodist church which has shown FAIRTRADE films as part of their programme .Carshalton Methodist Church is now a designated Fairtrade Church .The group is keen to support other churches in the borough achieve Fairtrade Status.
- The group has a website the aim of which is to provide a central point of information , locally and nationally about Fairtrade for the Sutton Community . One group member has however been actively been able to use social media to tweet information to which there has been a positive response. The group has provided material for press releases in the local paper but unfortunately has not been successful in having items published in recent times.
- The group has been actively supported in its activities by the Local Mayor and one of the Local MPs
Financial and practical Support
The financial outlay to support the activities of the group is small however there are some costs associated with paying for pitches for stalls , stationary materials for the certificates and posters and insurance .The group was provided with a grant from Sutton council some years ago which it has been able to use for these purposes . These funds were topped up as a result of donations from the FAIRTRADE breakfast event in March 2016..The group has been actively supported by donations from the Co- Op on a continuing basis . This has been crucial in enabling the group to have stock for stalls and to sell goods, as well as providing incentives for public participation in stall activities and competitions in the form of prizes / vouchers . Sainsbury’s have provided a voucher on one occasion. Eco local have provided financial support in relation to the groups insurance cover . The group has also been supported by the Salvation army which has provided a meeting space for the group for several years .We are grateful for the support of the Co- op and the Salvation Army in particular in working in partnership with the Group.
Judy Walsh Chair 26.6.2016
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