Oxford City Fair Trade Coalition: Committee Meeting

14th January 2011. 5pm - 6.30pm Town Hall - Plowman Room

Coalition meetings are open to all supporters of Fair Trade in Oxford, and provide a space for exchange of information and co-ordination of activities to promote Fair Trade in Oxford City, and to continue the development of Oxford as a Fair Trade City.


Present: Mike McKinley; Val Johnson; Sebastian Johnson; Rachel Smith; Carol Wills; Alex Nichols; Liesl Norris; Maranda St-John Nicole; Lottie White; Elizabeth Whitwick; Julie Osbourne; Patricia Wright; Sarah Wearden.

Apologies: Ian and Elma Sinclair; Judith Condor-Vidal; Sabita; Jane Conlon (Exclusive Roots); Joyce Day.


Chair:  Mike McKinley

1) Welcome and Apologies

1a) Minutes form the last meeting

The minutes from the last meeting were accepted.

2) Feedback from the AGM

The minutes from the AGM have been circulated and are available via our website. We should note that Oxford East MP Andrew Smith expressed his willingness to put forward parliamentary questions and raise issues on the group’s behalf.

3) Twin Cities Exchange - update on the possibility of Oxford hosting visitors from our twinned cities to showcase Fair Trade in the city.

Oxford’s twin city Bonn has gained some European funding for hosting a series of five seminars in Austria, Germany, Great Britain and Hungary focused on ‘Local Government meeting the Millennium Development Goals’. Oxford will be hosting a seminar focused on fair trade for the members of the project. This is likely to take place in June. A member of the Coalition will be attending a planning meeting with the Council’s events officer in Bonn in February.

Maranda suggested we should connect with the existing actors on Fair Trade in Bonn, who are actively promoting the city as the Fair Trade Town. We should also look at the notes from the Fair Trade Towns conference held in Bonn, and look for presentations form Malmo on Sustainability. (The notes can be found here: http://fairtradetowns.ning.com/forum/topics/4-fairtrade-towns-conference)

We should also be aware of: http://www.fairtrade-advocacy.org/

Action: Tim and Mike to meet Rachel Cappell, Oxford City Events Officer, next week to plan our contribution to the February meeting in Bonn.

4) Planning for Fair Trade Fortnight: be loud and proud about Fair Trade!

The focus of this years Fairtrade Fortnight (FTF) is on Cotton, under the title ‘Be Loud and Proud’. Creating bunting is one of the main activities suggested by the Fairtrade Foundation – and they will be collecting bunting from local groups after FTF to wrap around a landmark in Brussels.


Supporters can order 5 free sets of bunting (22 flags each string) from www.fairtrade.org.uk.


Action: Everyone is encouraged to order bunting for groups they work with.


Maranda has been working to encourage churches to run bunting activities and then bring their bunting together at the end of FTF. Exclusive Roots are going to be wrapping their shop with bunting. Patricia has arranged for a bunting-making session to take place as part of International Women’s Festival on Thursday 3rd March at the Friends Meeting House from 5.30 – 7.30.


We will organise a celebration event on Saturday 12th March from 10.00 – 13.00 at St Michaels Parish Rooms, inviting everyone who has run bunting activities across the area to come together and wrap Oxford landmarks in bunting. The suggested agenda was:


·       10.00 – 11.30 – Bunting Making – an opportunity for those who have not made bunting yet to come and be creative – decorating fabric triangles. And a chance to make-up and extra bunting needed. Briefing anyone who will be putting the bunting out.

·       11.30 – 11.50 – Speaker -  invited speaker talking about the importance of Fair Trade Cotton.

·       11.50 – 12.20 – Singing Together  - Rachel Smith will lead the group in Fairtrade and Cotton related songs to celebrate Fairtrade Fortnight.

·       12.20 – 13.00 – Wrapping Landmarks – Everyone to head out and decorate agreed landmarks with bunting.


Maranda will explore the possibility of providing a light lunch for people at the Parish Rooms after the bunting wrapping has taken place. A small group will need to agree to take the bunting down at the end of the day.

Suggested landmarks to wrap included (names indicate people who will explore the possibility):

  - Carfax Tower - Val

  - Town Hall - Val

  - Covered Market - Mortons

  - University Church - Maranda

  - Radcliff Camera -

  - Cathedral - Maranda

  - St Michael’s - Julie

  - Quaker Meeting House -

  - Martyrs Memorial?

  - St Mary Magdalene - Rachel

  - Bonn Square Baptist Church?

Maranda suggested it would be great if postcards were made of key Oxford landmarks wrapped in bunting.


We had prospectively booked the Assembly Rooms for a Speaker event on the evening of Thursday 3rd March. It was decided to cancel this book and focus on having a speaker at the Saturday 12th March event.



Action: Carol/Sebastian to cancel the assembly room booking for 3rd March. [Done]

Action: Elizabeth to contact Oxfam re: speaker to come and talk about Cotton at 12th March event.

Action: Julie to book the parish rooms, but to confirm whether the Church is also available as an overflow venue.

Action: Tim to set up registration form / e-mail address for people to register interest in taking part. [Done at http://oxfairtrade.wordpress.com/fair-trade-fortnight-2011/be-part-of-the-bunting-brigade-show-off-fairtrade/]

Action: Maranda to look into food for event.  

Action: Publicity to be prepared (Tim?) [Part-done]

Action: Rachel, Tim and Maranda to put together practical ideas for decorating bunting

Action: Tim/Rachel to e-mail Exclusive Roots about cotton [Done]


Action: Everyone to promote the idea of creating bunting to groups they are in touch with


Action (additional): Tim to contact student campaigners (Environment and Ethics Committee) to invite them to take part. [Done]


Action: Maranda or a.n.other to explore possibility to postcards (we at least need a good photographer on the day)

Co-operative Divine Cocoa Farmers Visit

Leisl explained that the Co-op have Famers from Divine Chocolate coming to deliver a talk at a Co-op Members Event on Tuesday 8th March 2011. There will be a fashion show, followed by the farmers talk, followed by ‘Fair Trade Group Tables’. The event will take place some time during the day, 9am - 5pm, in the Assembly Rooms in Oxford.  They are aiming to invite councillors, media and Witney Town Council. Co-op members will be able to attend.

This is also shrove Tuesday. Fair Trade pancakes may feature.

Action: Tim to circulate Liesl’s e-mail address liesl.norris@midcounties.coop [Done]


Julie shared that last year businesses worked together to produce a leaflet for Fair Trade Fortnight. Julie will look into doing this again this year.

Online Campaigning

Tim noted that there are now 500 followers of our Twitter account: http://www.twitter.com/oxfairtrade and many readers of our Website. Many are local  businesses. We should ask them what they are planning to do for Fairtrade Fortnight

Action: Tim to ask local businesses what they are doing. Also ask businesses if they want a copy of our Fair Trade directory.

Hotels and guest houses letter?

Tim will e-mail Stay Oxford to ask what their members are doing on Fairtrade http://www.stayoxford.co.uk/about.html

5) Re-certification of Oxford as a Fair Trade City

Carol reported that our re-certification will be due by the end of July. We will need to submit our form entirely online.

We should focus on this in our next meeting.

6) Any other business

Julie reminded us that there are about 7000 Oxfordshire Fairtrade Directories still to be circulated.


Mike raised the idea of a newsletter being created of stories from our networks – particularly building on the stories shared at the AGM. Stories are always welcome for the website.

Action: Tim to pick some up from the shop & to take them to Bonn / share with Rachel for sharing round the county.

Action: Some directories to be given to the University


Action: Anyone wanting to write articles about Fairtrade issues please forward them to Tim for inclusion on the website / sharing with local publications.

7) Date of next meeting

A meeting dedicated to checking plans for the Fair Trade Bunting event was set for 4 – 5pm on Tuesday 15th February.

Notes from those giving apologies:

For Fairtrade Fortnight Exclusive Roots will be wrapping the shop in fair trade bunting and we are hoping to get customers to sign a fair trade pledge on the bunting. We can supply fairtrade cotton to colleagues if they need more than is available from FF.






Dates for your diary:

Please let fairtrade@oxford.gov.uk know of any event you are organizing so we can share details of them on the website.



Monday 14th February – Valentines Day – often a good opportunity to let people know about Fairtrade flowers, chocolates and wine…


Tuesday 15th February – 4.00 – 5.00pm – Town Hall - Panel Room -  Coalition Meeting focused on bunting event. P


Monday February 28th – Sunday March 13th – Fairtrade Fortnight


Thursday 3rd March – 5.30 – 7.30pm: Bunting Making Session at the Quaker Meeting House, St Giles. Organized by Patricia Wright. Part of the Oxford International Women’s Festival.


Saturday 12th March – 10.00 – 13.00 – Fairtrade Cotton Bunting Event

Original Agenda

Note: a pre-meeting is taking place from 4.15pm with Rachel Capell to discuss in more details a possible project with Oxford’s Twin Towns. Members are welcome to attend that pre-meeting, but time for further discussion during the main meeting from 5pm.

1) Welcome and Apologies

2) Feedback from the AGM

3) Twin Cities Exchange - update on the possibility of Oxford hosting visitors from our twinned cities to showcase Fair Trade in the city.

4) Planning for Fair Trade Fortnight: be loud and proud about Fair Trade!

   - Fair Trade Cotton Activities

   - Divine Cocoa Farmers Visit (?)

   - Leaflet (Julie Osborne)

   - Online Campaigning (Twitter / Suggested Activities / helping you celebrate!)

   - Hotels and guest houses letter? (Tim - See http://www.stayoxford.co.uk/about.html)

5) Re-certification of Oxford as a Fair Trade City

6) Any other business