Update from the chairman
Fairtrade in Lockdown
Like most organisations locally and nationally our activities since mid-March have been severely restricted. We have tried to keep the Fairtrade message alive with articles in the local press, the town council magazine and the library newsletter. Fairtrade farmers and producers are particularly in need of our support at the present time due to both the direct effects of the current pandemic and the consequent economic effects. On Saturday July 11th we were given an update by Mike Gidney of the Fairtrade Foundation at a ‘virtual conference’ organised by the Suffolk Association of Local Authorities – see below.
Thanks to generous support from the East of England Co-op we were able to start a programme of donating a Fairtrade Football to each of Felixstowe’s primary schools. We were presenting the footballs at a series of assemblies around Fairtrade Fortnight where we also showed a short video about Fairtrade footballs and how they are made. We hope to complete our programme of football donations once things return to normal.
Fairtrade Fortnight Events
Fairtrade Fortnight in Felixstowe was launched on Monday 24th February by the Mayor of Felixstowe at Christ Church. There were refreshments and a Fairtrade stall and the launch was followed by a walk, organised in co-operation with Felixstowe Walkers.
There was a Family Fun Day at the library from on Saturday 29th February. There were games and competitions for all the family, refreshments, a Fairtrade stall, a raffle, a tombola and a chocolate fountain. The event was a great success with a good attendance from local school children and their families.
On Saturday 7th March we rounded off Fairtrade Fortnight with a coffee morning at St John’s Church from 10am to 12 noon.
Renewal of Fairtrade Town Status
In July last year we received the news that Felixstowe’s status as a Fairtrade Town had been renewed for another two years. This was good news as we celebrated 10 years since Felixstowe became a Fairtrade Town by taking part in the Felixstowe Carnival for the first time in a number of years. The rain held off and we were able to promote the Fairtrade message to the hundreds of people lining the streets.
Renewal of Fairtrade Town status is required every two years to ensure that towns continue to be actively involved in promoting Fairtrade and enjoy local support. The letter we received from the Fairtrade Foundation, confirming the renewal, was complimentary about the efforts being made in Felixstowe.
Shops and Cafes Serving Fairtrade
As part of this website we show shops and cafes selling Fairtrade products, in a form which can easily be downloaded and printed. Please take a look at it by clicking on the ‘Shops and Cafes’ link and let us know what you think. On the page, if you click on the box ‘print detail page’ you will also see the poster we produced to go with the printed form of the list. This has been displayed and made available to visitors to Felixstowe to encourage them to support local businesses selling Fairtrade products.
Although we are pleased at the range of Fairtrade goods available at local shops we are disappointed that Greggs and Café Ology at the leisure centre appeared to be the only cafes in Felixstowe serving the full range of Fairtrade drinks. Please ask your favourite café to consider serving Fairtrade – if they do not do so already.
The Suffolk Association of Fairtrade Towns (SAFT)
Felixstowe is a member of the Suffolk Association of Fairtrade Towns, which represents eight active Fairtrade towns across Suffolk. We hold an annual conference where we exchange information and usually have a speaker who updates us on an aspect of Fairtrade. This year’s conference was to have been held in Beccles in July but had to be cancelled because of Covid-19 restrictions. However we did hold a successful on line conference via Zoom on 11 July with presentations by Mike Gidney, the Chief Executive of the Fairtrade Foundation, and SAFT Patron, Patrick Kaberia. For more information click on the link in the contacts section of this website
Join our Team of Volunteers
If you support Fairtrade and would like to help in promoting it we are always on the lookout for volunteers. We would provide all necessary support and would not expect you to do more than you feel comfortable with. Contact us if you would like more information and we would be happy to discuss. Even if you are not able to help we would welcome you as a member of the Forum. Membership is free, you can join via this website and by joining you can demonstrate your support for Fairtrade.
Please be assured, Fairtrade really does make a difference.