14th of August, 2017
Minutes of St Andrews Fairtrade Town Campaign group AGM, 8th August 2017, held at 40 Lawmill Gardens, St Andrews.
Present: PM,MS,AC, MP, AM, AH, PR, JC, MR.
Apologies to IC for sending pre-meeting emails to her old address
· PM presided during the election of officers. Chair PM, proposed AC, seconded AM/MR; Vice chair JC, proposed MS, seconded AM; Secretary AC, proposed AM, seconded MP; Treasurer AM, proposed MP, seconded MR.
· We welcomed Mariya Simeonova, Sustainability Intern for the Environment Team 2017-8, and we look forward to working with her and the University’s Fairtrade Steering Group.
· MS was given the remaining FT samples for Freshers Fayre. PR/JC to get finders to her. ACTION PR/JC
· AC reported on the supermarkets’ response to the petition. The manager at Morrisons had invited us to discuss the store’s provision of FT goods.
· Re serving hot drinks at a stall in future, MR/PR to ask SFTF about insurance for this. Starbucks (St Andrews) believe we would be covered by their insurance.
· MP to change group email addresses. ACTION MR/PR
· MP reported on JTS. Following successful crowdfunding and other initiatives, the company is to continue operating. Locally, the 90kg rice challenge had been taken up by St Leonards School pupils and may be a way into further contact with the school.
· MP/AC/LM had visited Guardbridge Primary School in May and successfully engaged in various activities with both classes. The materials used can form the basis for forther contact with primary schools.
· Because of our work with the R&A on Fairtrade at the British Open, MP had been approached by SFTF for help in establishing a sporting events accreditation.
· Philip Russell and MP will meet to discuss next year’s Open.
Finance: AM presented the year’s accounts. The balance is £124.68
How to respond to current Fairtrade concerns: Fairtrade is under threat in the UK because of changes in Sainsbury’s policies in particular. Tesco, Morrisons and Cadbury/Mondelez have also dropped Fairtrade products to a significant extent. We discussed the implications for our work, noticing that it offers opportunities as well as threats, and that it isn’t clear how much this is a deeper crisis in supply, as opposed to a withdrawal by supermarkets from standards for fair trade. The supermarkets may lose out to Ethical Superstore, Amazon etc once Fairtrade supporters realise that these are accessible alternative sources.
· MS to circulate a link to The Tree, an online platform for Transition St Andrews linking consumers to local, organic, ethical and affordable goods and produce.
· MS to organise a petition for September challenging Sainsbury’s decision. ACTION MS
· AC/MR to draft an open letter to Sainsbury’s (UK and local) to be copied to the Citizen. ACTION AC/MR
· MR/PR to ask the Fairtrade Foundation what solution they are advocating. ACTION MR/PR
· MP/PR to attend a meeting at Holy Trinity Church on 9th August to see what opportunities there may be for an initiative such as a Fairtrade hub. ACTION PR/MP
Planning for the coming year:
Fairtrade Fortnight 2018, Feb 26 to March 11
· Finder. The current version will be reviewed, hopefully with support from students. MS to contact the (yet to be recruited) FT volunteer and Oxfam group – to be done either in November or at the beginning of semester 2. ACTION MS
· Speaker. MS to contact the Fairtrade Foundation and SFTF to request a visit from a producer. Would it be possible to have a speaker who is affected by the changes at Sainsbury’s? ACTION MS
St Andrews Day.
· AC to re-establish contact with the organisers of the Royal Burgh St Andrews Day reception. ACTION AC
· MP to check on the flagpole situation and see if we can fly our flag during St Andrews Day celebrations. ACTION MP
· MS to investigate the production of a University Fairtrade flag which could be flown from St Salvators Chapel Tower ACTION MS
· AH to hold a Traidcraft Coffee Morning in October, including Christmas goods, with support from group members. ACTION AH/all
AOB: MS to forward information about Green Week in October. ACTION MS
Next meeting: 7.30pm 11th October, 18 Irvine Crescent