Our AGM, Annual Report, & Minutes.

Minutes of the AGM held at Christ Church on October 31, 2017 with 15 members in attendance.

The Chairman for the evening, David Parker, welcomed everyone to the meeting.

Apologies were received from Rachel Hewings, Doreen Short, Caryl Kwei, Gill Parker, Mike Whalley.
Before the commencement of any further business a short film about Fairtrade roses in Kenya was viewed.

The Chair then asked the Secretary to introduce the Annual Report. After highlighting some of the key points, including the excellent contribution made to our work by Chelmsford Star Co-operative Society (particularly its Fairtrade Evening and the production of the Fairtrade chocolate bar), Malcolm detailed positive developments at Cadbury’s and the setback from Sainsbury’s. The Secretary also reported on an email he had just received from the local MP, Vicky Ford. He said that he had written to ask her to consider joining the All Party Fairtrade Parliamentary Group; she had responded by saying that although she was an enthusiastic supporter, she was somewhat over-extended at this time but if we have any specific points we wish to take up, we should let her know. Malcolm then thanked all the local groups and individuals for their work over the past year and hoped that there will be even more events during Fairtrade Fortnight. Judy Saunders proposed that the report be accepted. It was seconded by Reza Hossain and agreed. In the discussion that followed it was pointed out that the way in which we presented our case to retain City Status was being used by the Foundation as a case study; a tribute to the work of the committee. The Secretary was thanked for his work during the year.

David Parker, Treasurer, then presented the audited Financial Report. This showed that our Bank Balance at 30 June 2017 was £2825.42. We had paid £50 to participate in the Chelmsford Cathedral Christmas Fayre, and £95 for public liability insurance, with the Foundation contributing the same amount. We gave £350 to Shared Interest, the majority of which was raised from the Quiz Night. This gives us £2,035 in our Shared Interest Account. David said that we now have 50 members, 34 being individual members, 15 community members, and one corporate member. The Treasurer answered a number of questions including the the way in which investments are used by Shared Interest. The Report was approved and the Treasurer thanked for his work during the year.

Chairman: After David Parker pointed out that this position had been carried out by a member of the committee on a rotating basis, this was agreed to.
Secretary: Malcolm Wallace. Proposed by Judy Saunders, seconded by Tony Bender. Agreed.
Treasurer: David Parker. Proposed by Jan Wallace, seconded by Reza Hossain. Agreed.

Committee members elected were: Gill Parker, Jane Shelley, Tony Bender, Judy Saunders. The importance of having new people on the committee was emphasised and should others be interested they could be co-opted. Agreed that Cllr. Yvonne Spence be invited to attend meetings and to receive minutes.

ANY OTHER BUSINESS: Although there was no further business a discussion took place on various aspects of Fairtrade.

In closing the meeting the Chairman thanked everyone for their attendance and Christ Church for the room. Gill and David Parker were thanked for providing the refreshments, an excellent range of products for sale, and the film on Fairtrade. The meeting ended at 8.35pm.




The Standing Committee elected at the Annual General Meeting in 2016 was Tony Bender, David Parker (Treasurer), Gill Parker, Jane Shelley, Malcolm Wallace (Secretary), Judy Saunders and Andrew Thorpe-Apps.

Unfortunately, Andrew Thorpe-Apps resigned from the committee in March owing to new work commitments. We would like to take this opportunity to record our thanks to Andrew for his contribution to our activities. Since the last Annual General Meeting the Committee has met on five occasions. As agreed at the 2016 AGM the role of Chair has been shared among the committee members.

Our membership now stands at 50, an increase of 6 since last year. Of these, 34 are individual members (an increase of 3) and 15 are community groups (up by 2 and composed mainly of churches and trades unions). We also have one Corporate Member, Chelmsford Star Co-operative Society. This group is down by one as Thompsons Solicitors have left the area. Yvonne Spence is our link with Chelmsford City Council.

Through the City Centre Management Team the council has continued to provide us with High Street stalls. The council’s quarterly magazine, which is delivered to every household, continues to display the Fairtrade logo. We have paid £95 as an insurance against any possible public incidents through CaSE (the Fairtrade Foundation pays a further £95).

We thank everyone for their much appreciated support during the year.

In addition to two High Street stalls since the last AGM (another is planned for this November) we had a display table at Chelmsford Star Co-operative Society’s AGM. We participated in Chelmsford Cathedral’s 2016 Christmas Market and arrangements are in hand for 2017. In September we had a stall at Amnesty International’s Defending Human Rights Defenders Conference.

Gill and David Parker have a Fairtrade Stall at the Central Baptist Church where Traidcraft products not available from retailers can be obtained. They are open for business from 10.30am to 2pm on Tuesdays during term time.

We have had an extensive exchange of letters with Chelmsford Diocese with a view to increasing the promotion of Fairtrade and urging the Diocese to encourage more churches to become involved. We also had a very helpful meeting at Broomfield Hospital which has led to a significant increase in the use of Fairtrade for both staff and patients. We wrote to Essex County Council with a view to increasing the products on offer but although the catering department said that it displays information to raise awareness within the restaurant areas, and that ECC is doing all it can to get the Fairtrade message out, the response was disappointing.

Our Quiz Evenings are now a regular feature of our work and we held another at St. Andrew’s Church Hall on 25 March. Ten community groups participated and as a result £350 was invested in Shared Interest, bringing our total to £2035. Two further teams could not be accommodated owing to space restrictions, and thought is being given to how best we can develop the event. We would like to thank Chelmsford Star for donating eight bottles of Fairtrade wine and providing the microphone equipment.

In May, when we heard that Sainsbury was terminating Fairtrade tea for a ‘fairly traded product’, we wrote to the company to register our opposition and asked all our members to do likewise.

We held an exhibition of Fairtrade posters and leaflets in Remembrance Square from 28 February to 2 March and a display stall at Chelmsford Star Co-operative Society’s Fairtrade Evening. We also had a stall at a ‘Big Brew’ event organised by the Quakers.

Chelmsford Star held two coffee mornings at their Braintree and Chelmsford Quadrants at which committee member Gill Parker, spoke about Fairtrade chocolate and used a film to illustrate her talk. The Society also held an excellent Fairtrade Wine-tasting evening which was attended by the Mayor who spoke very highly of our work. Our Secretary, Malcolm Wallace, spoke at the event and we promoted our activities through a stall and our banners.

On 28 February Malcolm attended an event in the House of Commons which was attended by 45 MPs. The All Party Parliamentary Group for Fairtrade organised the event in order to spread the campaign’s message: ‘Don’t Feed Exploitation’. Guest speakers included International Development Minister Rory Stewart MP and Leonard Kachebonaho, a coffee farmer from Tanzania. Malcolm made contact with students from the Leys School at Cambridge who told him that they had produced their own Fairtrade Luxury Milk Chocolate Bar. We are delighted that Chelmsford Star picked up our proposal to produce their own bar and this was used as part of their 150th celebrations.

We thank all those who participated in Fairtrade Fortnight and hope that others will join them next year.

We have continued to update our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/chelmsfordcityfairtrade
and our website at http://chelmsfordfairtrade@wordpress.com/.

We wrote an article about Fairtrade which was published in City Times during Fairtrade Fortnight. Our application renewal for Fairtrade status is being used by the Foundation as a case study.

Reports of our meetings are published in the Essex Chronicle’s Community News, placed on our website, and communicated to members and supporters. We have issued several newsletters to members and supporters and press releases are also used to promote our events. During the General Election Campaign we wrote to all parliamentary candidates seeking their views on Fairtrade, and these can be seen on our website.

Details of the breakfast menu are available to those who may be considering doing a similar activity from Pru and Robert Jones who hosted the event. robertjjones@phonecoop.coop

To encourage more members and to increase awareness of our campaign we published a Fairtrade poster for distribution to community groups, retailers etc. Copies can be obtained from maljan9@gmail.com.


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