Monday 4 March 2013

Fair Trade Fortnight Event at Settle

I'll write this as a letter (to a friend in London who does a lot during Fair Trade Fortnight)

Dear Poppy,

Thank you for suggesting we have a "Mad Hatters Hat" competition at our Fair Trade Fortnight Fun-night. That part went really well. (Well it all went well. )

I knew it would be a good idea to get people involved beforehand by collecting old colourful wrappers from Fairtrade items.But standing back, watching the grown-ups and young teenagers/children absorbed in what they were doing and seeing the creativity it produced was an unexpected delight.

Before describing more of the evening I need to say thank you to our two saints.. 

To Elizabeth Towers and to Mary Hewitson. 
They like me had spent time this morning preparing the vegetable stew and the beef stroganof.
And they came early with me at 4pm to set things up...

But then during the evening (whilst I was organising or playing games, or sitting eating.. they spent most of the time in the kitchen, cooking the rice and quinoa, heating the food, slicing up the cakes, making the tea.. and then afterwards washing up. Though I did notice Derek washing up too!)

Thank you. Thank you!

My hard work sending out emails and putting up posters, and other people's work inviting people paid off, as eventually we had 35 people. (I wish we had twice as many it was such a good evening) - and they came from a variety of backgrounds.
THANK YOU EVERY ONE for coming - Your presence was almost as important as the cooks!

So what did we do?

We played "Tell Me" - a simple quiz game. Stephen Normanton was quizmaster. (The winner was sent off to choose a fair trade present in the room next door)

We had a "game"- "Sit next to someone new, find out what they are called and then introduce them to everyone else."- The "buzz" when people start asking their neighbours questions is tangible.. and I find it SO useful to me to hear names of people whose names I don't know or have forgotton...

Then Rachel Avison Fell who had brought a display of fairtrade  and also locally made crafts that she sells at her new shop on Settle Market Place Dales Angels, assisted by Vicky Black and Hatty.

We made the hats.

We looked at the display of goods in the adjacent room:  supplied by Growing with Grace, Wholesome Bee, Booths, the Coop and Tradecraft (at the Friends Meeting House).. and sampled the chocolate.

The Hats made from Fair Trade wrappers

Showing the goods from Dales Angels -1

Showing the goods from Dales Angels -2

Sampling goods from Tradecraft

Cutting the cakes
 After the meal, and before we listened to FR Tony Boyaln's talk, I mentioned three points:

  1.  The Differences and similarities between Fair Trade and Rainforest Alliance Accredited goods
  2.  The availability of the SHARED INTEREST Scheme - You can put some of your savings in a place where people who need Fairtrade type loans to help them with their businesses can borrow it:  -Shared Interest may as well be doing something good with your money (as compared with some of the banks who may be investing it in things you would rather not be investing in)
  3.  For many people, the (Fare trade) quinoa which we had served as an alternative to rice was a new dish. I hope they enjoyed tasting it. (Quite a few people just did not want to try.... )

After the meal Father Tony Boylan talked about Trade Justice.Some of our unfair trade rules (imposed by the rich powerful countries) are making poor countries even poorer, and explained the terms tariff and subsidies
Tariff: e.g. a country prevents a crop (say) rice from being imported into the country by putting a 500% tax on any rice imported. (So a poor country cannot export the crop)
Subsidy: A country gives its farmers grants/subsidies for producing a crop. The farmer rows lots of extra crop to get the subsidy. Then there is too much so it is exported to third country at a very low (loss making price - but that doesn't matter because the farmer has made his profit by claiming the subsidy). The third country's farmers cannot grow their crop so cheaply so they stop growing it.

He had a draft letter which he showed us - , to send to

The G8 countries will be meeting in Ireland in July - but if we wish to encourage our leaders to do useful things, then NOW is the time we should be writing letters (not July) .
Changing the Trade rules will have a bigger effect than buying a few extra bars of chocolate.

I do hope some of us will do this. (write the letter I mean)
He reminded us of the meeting on Trade Justice in autumn 2012 when our MP Julian Smith came

We passed a plate round and received £129. After expenses for food (though much was donated) , and buying a few extra Fair Trade products that will leave us £110 - to donate to the Rainforest Fund. We will donate it to World Land Trust Project in Bolivia, where it can save an acre of Savanna 

Thank you to everyone!

Here is a link to the advert for this evening

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