Thursday 23 October 2008

Coffee - Rainforest Alliance - Fair-Trade - Bird Friendly - Shade grown - Utz Kapeh

Coffee - It's not just a matter of is it fair trade or not - O,... no, no, no, no, no. There are several certification schemes, and other decisions to be made.

Rainforest Alliance Certification (McDonalds now use this, provided by Kenco)
[[Rainforest Alliance, I have been told, does not count as "Fair Trade" when becoming a Fair Trade Church, I have been told - even though they do have to have good conditions for the workers..]]

Fair Trade

Shade Grown/Bird Friendly

Utz Kapeh (has some sustainable features)

Then there are two types of coffee:
Arabica - usually grown in shade and so more wildlife friendly
Robusta- usually grown in the open so bad for wildlife. It needs more fertilizer and pesticides.

Shade-grown Coffee: Environmental conservation: Birding Fair Trade and much more

See Ethical corp for a good comparison

Trehugger for good info.

Bird Friendly Coffee


Is global business hijacking the Fairtrade bandwagon? Guardian article

Wednesday 15 October 2008

Songs of Praise Settle Church Hall

On going to set up the Fairtrade talk last night I discover that Langcliffe Singers who meet in the main room in the hall are to have a singer in their group to be filmed for Songs of Praise in November...

Our church hall used for a Songs of Praise Scene -- will they feature our Rainforest Fund Display in the background??? (Judith's one track mind).

They are going to be making a themed Songs of Praise programme on older people - and concentrate on the activities in one day of this one lady - which just happens to include Langclffe Singers this evening. I film the filmers filming the Langcliffe Singers leader introducing the session- which includes doing stretching exercises, then retreat to our Fairtrade meeting.

Afterwards, as the Langcliffe Singers are disbanding, I pick up nerve and ask the lady if I can take her photo...

to be continued....

The lady's name is Daphne Wallace - - in fact I later discover, Dr Daphne Wallace. She explains they have already today filmed her playing golf and playing the cello and the other things she has being doing. I ask "How did they chose you?"

She explains that she used to be a psychiatrist, helping people with dementia and, she has recognised that she now she has dementia herself.

I prick up my ears. I have a relative with "memory" problems.

"How do you know?" I ask - Daphne certainly is leading an active life..
"I can't do arithmetic like I used to, and forget words." she says.
"As well as arithmetic and words I have lost much of a previously exceptionally good visual memory, also multitasking (such as used in participating in a discussion) is much more difficult."

Later I discover she has been interviewed on women's hour about this., and she gave a lecture in Harrogate in November 2007 on the topic.

"The programme is titled 'Third Age Spirituality' - The interviews with me will not be the only one and the activities will, I presume, form a background to parts of the interview. There will be hymns and a soloist (Willard White) and much of the usual format but the theme is on faith as it affects the life of older people - I am one of those to illustrate the theme by giving an outline of how faith affects my life and its challenges. There will be other contributors so my bit will be drastically reduced from the interview I recorded over nearly 1 & half hours!

Well roll on November 23rd for the Songs of Praise programme.

And if you would like to see and hear Langcliffe Singers They will be performing Handel's Messiah on Sunday 7 December at 7.30pm on Settle Parish Church. Book your tickets now!!

Below you see the group before they started singing.

Tuesday 14 October 2008

Fair Trade: becoming a Fair Trade Community

A special speaker had asked me to arrange a meeting at the Church Hall this evening - John Anderson, formerly chair of Fairtrade Bradford - to talk on "Becoming a Fair Trade Community." I circulate emails to people to tell them about the meeting. I come down early. Perhaps while here I can invite one or two of the other groups using the hall to contribute to the Rainforest Fund. I discover that "Langcliffe Singers" who meet in the main room in the hall are to have a singer in their group to be filmed for Songs of Praise in November... but more of that in my next blog. Our meeting takes place to the accompaniment of their magnificent singing in the background. Fairtrade: Producers of "Fairtrade" goods get a guaranteed price and a better deal. Often they get a good price because middle dealers are cut out. Settle Methodist Church is not a Fair Trade Church. The West Yorkshire Methodist District, of which Settle church is part would like to become a "Fairtrade District" - just as it is possible to become a "Fairtrade School" or other Fairtrade community.. So John has arranged to come and give a talk at our church hall this evening 14th October. He explains that to become a Fairtrade District we would have to get half the churches in the District to be Fairtrade churches and also do some other things to promote Fairtrade- such as have an event in Fairtrade fortnight. All the churches in his circuit at Shipley are Fairtrade churches. But in the Settle and Bentham Circuit none of them are. He wonders why. We have representatives from High Bentham and Settle. The High Bentham people tell us they are going to have a meeting about Fairtrade in Bentham, and does John have a video? He recommends the Fairtrade website. We try samples of the Divine chocolate. The cocoa is grown in Ghana and a cooperative was set up for this, but the chocolate is made in Europe as it would melt in Ghana.. He explains that Anita Roddick had had shares in the company that made the chocolate. When she sold her firm the Body Shop, she gave the shares in Divine chocolate to the African Cooperative. He explains how at Bradford they had been able to get funds from the Cooperative Society (the Coop) for some of their Fairtrade Activities, including producing a book showing where Fairtrade goods can be bought, and he recommends doing the same. He starts commending "Shared Interest" - a scheme where you can invest money, which is then used to loan to small producers, and that had been useful for some Fairtrade cooperatives. Then he finds that four out the five of us already have invested some money in this. (Now seen to be a better option than shares...). He leaves us leaflets and samples. We put the box of coffee and tea samples in the kitchen next door with some of the leaflets, for kitchen users to take or try.

Monday 13 October 2008

World Species Loss hits the news

The BBC website at says the global economy is
losing much more money from the disappearance of forests than through the
current banking crisis, according to an EU-commissioned study.

Also see BBC - "Brown's plan to save rainforests"
which will be announced on Tuesday. Mr Elias who wrote the plan, is the Founder of
Cool Earth one of the charities we are supporting.

Sunday 12 October 2008

Five points that made our visit to Thorpe Perrow Arboretum a Success

Digressing slightly from tropical forests - today I visited Thorpe Perrow Arboretum near Bedale in North Yorkshire. Five top points were:

1. The electric buggy. My Mother currently has a bandage on her leg and cannot walk far.. but with this vehicle she was able to steam off at 4 mph with me running after to keep up. Normally one has to book these. .. If you have an elderly relative or someone with bad legs -book one. Great fun.

2. It's autumn and the colours are just beginning to change.. and they have special Acers (maples) that are just starting to turn lovely colours.

3. They have a falconry centre and also few animals there including meercats - The meercats are like some I saw on TV once. there is a family - One male, two females and four young (born in July). One of the adults stands on the log to keep watch..

4. We hit lucky in that on the 12th there was a fungus foray. We arrived back at the same time as the fungi foray people were spreading out their finds - including earthstars (see right), fly agaric, honey fungus, wood mushrooms,

5. Its nice walking amongst the trees and glades.