Our AGM, Annual Report, & Minutes.

The Annual General Meeting will be held at Christ Church, New London Road, Chelmsford in Room 1 at 7.30pm on 31st October.

Fairtrade tea and coffee and a Fairtrade sales table will be available from 7.15pm.

AGENDA

1. Welcome and Opening Remarks by Chairperson for the meeting, David Parker.

2. Apologies for absence.

3. Fairtrade Film.

4. To approve the Minutes of the 2016 AGM and any matters
arising.

5. To approve the Annual Report for 2017. Questions and
discussion.

6. To approve the Financial Report for 2017. Questions and
discussion.

7. Election of the Standing Committee
(a) Chairman
(b) Secretary
(c) Treasurer
(d) Other members.

9. Any other urgent business.

ANNUAL REPORT 2017
MEMBERSHIP AND THE STANDING COMMITTEE
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.

OUR ACTIVITIES
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.

FAIRTRADE FORTNIGHT
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.

COMMUNICATIONS, THE MEDIA AND PUBLICITY
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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