The highlight of the year was the renewal of our Fairtrade City status by the Fairtrade Foundation in April following what the Foundation described as an ‘impressive record of achievements’. It has for long been our aim to extend this status, which at present covers the historic city area, to the whole of the City Council area, and we are giving active consideration to bringing this forward, with the help particularly of city councillors representing this wider area. We were grateful to the new Mayor, Councillor Jane Rutter, for welcoming us to Abbey House where she received the certificate for display.
Fairtrade Fortnight (29 February to 13 March) was again marked. University students organised a highly successful Local and Fairtrade dinner with celebrity chef Andy Mackenzie. We would have welcomed a greater Fairtrade content in the meal but the balance was thoroughly redressed by an excellent talk by Greg Valerio on Fairtrade gold. Big Brew or similar events were held at St Mark’s and Lanterns school. Attempts to encourage the supermarkets to highlight their Fairtrade products were unsuccessful, and this would be taken up again for next year’s Fortnight.
Hampshire Fairtrade Network’s AGM did not take place this year and there has been difficulty in finding replacements for officers. We will be working with others to ensure that the county-wide contacts are continued, and that the aim to make Hampshire a Fairtrade county is not forgotten. Exec members have continued to attend meetings of groups with related interests such as WINACC and Traidcraft and to promote the Fairtrade and Trade Justice messages, and have helped with the staffing of Fairtrade shops and stalls in local churches.
The University continues to be a flagship for Fairtrade principles and practices, and we are extremely grateful for the inspirational support of its vice-chancellor Joy Carter and our own member Dave Morton, including in providing meeting places.
In the coming year we hope to develop our monitoring and encouraging of local businesses and schools. We had a useful contact with Henry Beaufort school this year over their production of a play on a climate-change-related theme. We will also maintain and monitor our website after an enthusiastic response this year from a tourist from a Fairtrade town in Derbyshire.
I would like to thank committee members and officers for their support through the year.