Report from AGM 2017

Posted on January 8, 2017. Filed under: AGMs |

Sutton FAIRTRADE Community Group

Chairperson’s report to AGM June 2017

Sutton is a Fairtrade Borough – its status was originally obtained 1.3.2007 and most recently renewed 5.10.2015. It will be due for renewal again in the forthcoming year.

Membership and participation

The group 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 EcoLocal. 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 an ACTION PLAN which informs its activity and which has been integral to the awarding of its Fairtrade Borough status. The principle provisions and themes of the action plan are:

  • Holding stalls to sell and publicise Fairtrade. The group facilitated 3 stalls during 2016/2017 as usual. These were held at the Frost Fair in Carshalton in December, at the new Sainsbury’s store in Sutton during Fairtrade Fortnight, and at the Environmental Fair on August bank holiday Monday. The stalls provide opportunities for interaction with the public about the value and importance of Fairtrade for the producers and their communities in enabling them to have sustainable livelihoods.
  • The group undertook its usual annual audit of Fairtrade outlets in the borough, which is available on the website. This involves group members visiting all the shops and cafes in person in the borough with a view to identifying the Fairtrade products that they sell.
  • It was noted in the 2016/17 audit that there has been a reduction in the range of Fairtrade products in some supermarkets, for example, instant coffee and honey.
  • It is an opportunity to raise awareness about Fairtrade and the Fairtrade Borough status in conversations with retailers. Leaflets and copies of the certificates are provided to retailers as part of this process.
  • Networking activities by group members, which have included school visits. John Fisher School and St. Philomena’s in particular have continued their support for Fairtrade Fortnight. St Philomena’s School for Girls held an event during Fairtrade Fortnight under the Geography Curriculum heading: Food & Farming; Globalisation & Development.

We are aware that other schools may have undertaken similar work but do not have the information available to be able to publicise this.

  • A number of churches in the borough support Fairtrade as part of their day to day activities, such as Carshalton Beeches Baptist and Holy Trinity. We have continued to maintain a list of churches in the borough and it is anticipated that further attempts will be made to publicise the existence of the Fairtrade group forum in 2017/18.
  • We have continued to receive an active level of support from the Local Co-Operative Group who have facilitated the provision of items and prizes for stalls, as well as direct activities in promoting Fairtrade during Fairtrade Fortnight in distributing “Goodie bags” to local residents. The Salvation Army continue to support us by enabling us to have use of their facilities for meetings and always make us very welcome. We have also received one-off vouchers towards products from Sainsbury’s.
  • Group members participate in meetings of London Fairtrade network which is supported by City Hall. This is an opportunity to meet members of other Fairtrade groups across London, to learn about what is happening nationally, and to share knowledge.
  • Contacts have continued with the MP for Carshalton and Wallington Tom Brake during the year, who has continued to add his voice to the Fairtrade movement. As yet it has not been possible for the group to meet with the MP for Sutton and Cheam, Paul Scully, to ascertain his views in relation to Fairtrade and the group hope to be able to do this in 2017/18. The Mayor attended the Fairtrade event stall in Sainsbury’s during Fairtrade fortnight.

Judy Walsh Chair 30.6.2017



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