Events and Activities 2023

GFA Steering Group and Planning meetings

Dates and business of meetings can be found: here

18 October – Presentation of renewed Fairtrade Community Certificate to Gosport Borough Council

two men holding a certificate

GFA’s Chair, Mark Smith presented the renewed certificate to the Mayor, Martin Pepper. Mark explained what GFA and Council had done to earn the certificate and suggested more we might be able to do together. You can read the full text of his presentation here

30 September – Alverstoke Michaelmas Fair

Members of GFA helped out at the ‘Help Palestine’ stall at the Michaelmas Fair, selling Fairtrade olive oil, dates and other foods, together with soaps, carved olive wood and hand painted ceramic craft products from Palestine.

Pictured here, Sarah, Coordinator of GFA and a member of the ‘Help Palestine Community Co-operative Ltd.’, explains to the Mayor how it works. (The ‘Community Cooperative’ was founded by Rachel Nassif to provide a market for Palestinian businesses people. It does not make a profit and is staffed entirely by volunteers). For further information, contact us.

Photo – Mark Smith

hhh

Make Polluters Pay for Loss and Damage

group of people with banners

GFA was represented in a rally in Portsmouth of local SE Hants groups calling for the Government to meet its promises, made at the COP 27, to fund the Loss and Damage Fund that Fairtrade farmers have been asking for (see “Community Declaration of Solidarity with Fairtrade farmer below)”. The ‘Make Polluters Pay’ Day of Action on 23 September demanded that the funding should be new, not taken out of the already depleted Overseas Aid budget and should come from taxing the Big6 oil companies enormous profits.

24 groups, including GFA and other Fairtrade groups in the region as well as Friends of the Earth signed a letter which was sent to local MPs asking them to urge the government to fulfil its promises on the Loss and Damage fund and make the polluters pay.

23rd August – We renewed our Fairtrade Borough Status.

GBGW poster

GREAT BIG GREEN WEEK

(10th – 18th June 2023)

GFA put up a display (from 8th – 19th June) in the Gosport Discovery Centre to advertise GBGW events in Gosport (e.g. a litter pick in the High Street) and also local and nearby green activities happening during the GBGW.

poster about Fairtrade coop in Honduras
Two of the posters included in the display

We used the display to promote GFA’s GBGW activity which was to invite people to sign the Community Declaration of Solidarity with Fairtrade Farmers impacted by climate change (see below). We put up a poster with the declaration in full together with a display about climate change impacts and the responses of Fairtrade farmers. Leaflets of the Declaration were available for people to sign and place in the box provided. We also provided a QR code for people to go directly to the Fairtrade Foundation website to sign up to the Declaration there.

We know that at least two organisations in Gosport have signed the Community Declaration: the Repair Cafe and Greening Leesland. We heard from the Fairtrade Foundation on 14th June that 29 people from Gosport had signed online.

klh

lkash

jkv

bm

h

j

g

g

h

j

Community Declaration of Solidarity with Fairtrade farmers man tending coffee plant

Fairtrade farmers are working hard to take on the climate crisis. Above, we see Micah Taurus, a coffee farmer in Kenya, who uses his Fairtrade income to protect his local environment and adapt to the effects of climate change.

We can act in solidarity with Fairtrade farmers by demanding fair funding for communities living with the worst effects of the climate crisis. This 3 minute video explains the part Fairtrade plays in tackling the Climate crisis – you can watch it here https://youtu.be/0xQP6tVlcxg Please share this with your local community group and :

Sign our Community Declaration to show local politicians there’s real grassroots support for global action on climate justice. 

You can find more about it and the full text here.

Fairtrade Fortnight – from 27 Feb to 12 March

Here we outline what we did in Fairtrade Fortnight 2023 in Gosport. AND WE WENT NATIONAL- the Fairtrade Foundation invited us with a few other groups to talk to an online meeting during Fairtrade Fortnight itself. This was followed up with an illustrated written report on their website (see it here) of what we’d done and why we did that in that way, together with a video of our Chairman talking about it – ( watch him here)

We spread a simple message:

Choose Fairtrade now and help save our favourite foods

Climate change is making it difficult to grow the coffee, cocoa and bananas and other fruits we love to eat. Farmers are struggling with changing weather patterns, and more severe hurricanes and storms, excessive heat and unseasonal cold snaps, floods washing away plants and eroding soils and structures and homes, droughts stunting plants and reducing yields. Diseases attack weakened plants. Most farmers do not have the financial security or social support to withstand the financial impacts of reduced or ruined harvests, let alone invest in adapting to new cultivation methods and modified and resistant plant varieties.

But Fairtrade Certified farmers do! They have the security of:

  • a minimum price,
  • the Fairtrade Premium to spend on supporting their communities;
  • the support of their co-operative
  • training and advice in agricultural methods and environmental sustainability;
  • training in business management
African woman speaking at a podium
Fairtrade ambassador, Deborah Osei-Mensah speaking at the COP27 in Dec. 2022 (Photo Credit: Tim Keweritsch)

Fairtrade Ambassador, Deborah, a Ghanaian cocoa farmer herself, calls on us:

For consumers, I want each and every one to be more conscious of the products we buy. “Together, let’s make the future fair. Let’s buy more Fairtrade. Let’s advocate for producers across the globe to make sure we have a fair future for each and every one.”

and for politicians and world leaders:

“If there is action to be done, it has to be done now. If you have to save the world, to save food, it has to be done now. “Political leaders should put their pen down and start acting. “We have to save the future now.”

Events in Gosport

Saturday 25th February – at Elson Community Library and Hub – Quiz night 7- 10 p.m.  GFA is contributing a round of questions about Fairtrade.

27 Feb –13 March  – Displays on “How Fairtrade can help farmers to safeguard the future of some of our favourite foods (chocolate, coffee and bananas)” at:

Discovery Centre – small display on the Ground Floor promotions table.

Elson Community Library and Hub – a poster display

Gosport Town Hall Reception Area – a poster display (see below)

Display boards with pictures and posters on
Display in the Town Hall (photo by GFA)

Friday, 3 March  11 – 12 noon.  Elson Library and Community Hub. Sewing Group – Talk about Fairtrade, with special reference to Fairtrade Cotton

Friday, 3 March, 3-5 p.m. at Gosport Town Hall 3-5 p.m. – the Mayor and GFA host A Fairtrade Tea Party

The Council Chamber was full with guests from organisations participating in Green initiatives in Gosport, half a dozen Councillors, members of GFA and helpers from Level Up.

The Tea Party Team: back rom : Mayor and Lady Mayoress, Jamie and Karen Hutchinson;, Dame Caroline Dinenage, MP; members of GFA. Front Row – members of Level Up. (photo by Level Up)

Mayor with Guests ( photo by Level Up)

Dame Caroline Dinenage MP, who has supported many of our Fairtrade Fortnight events over the years, spoke of how important it was to keep the issues about Fairtrade fresh in the public consciousness.

woman speaking to an audience
Dame Caroline Dinenage MP speaking (photo by Level Up)

GFA gave a presentation about: “How Fairtrade is helping farmers adapt to climate change and protect their livelihoods and the futures of some of our favourite foods” It presented some of the findings from a new report which you can read here:

There were displays, (photo by Level Up)  display of Fairtrade products on a semi-circular table ,

a quiz, a raffle and everyone enjoyed Fairtrade refreshments, made by GFA members. (photo by Level Up) a plate of cakes

Mayor and four people holding raffle prizes
The Mayor with raffle prize winners

Tuesday, 7 March  10.00 – 11.30 – Elson Community Library and Hub’s Senior Moments Club – Product tasting – coffee and chocolate + chat about Fairtrade.

Members chat over Fairtrade coffee and sample a variety of chocolate (photo – GFA)

This was a very lively and enjoyable event with about 25 people keen to compare different coffees and chocolate – all available locally in Gosport. Three GFA members chatted with participants and fielded plenty of questions while discussing how choosing Fairtrade could help farmers adapt to climate change and continue to produce these favourite foods.

Thursday 9 March, 10-12.30. at the Co-op Food Store, 151 Privett Road, Gosport, PO12 3SS – A Fairtrade information stall about endangered foods

GFA’s stall highlights Fairtrade products and offers chocolate tasting. (photo GFA)

Other Fairtrade Fortnight events include:

Alverstoke C of E Junior School, a Fairtrade School – invited parents to a Fairtrade Afternoon Tea and Art Exhibition on 10th March.

To celebrate Fairtrade Fortnight, the Young Governors hosted an afternoon tea in the school hall where delicious cakes containing Fairtrade ingredients were served. At the end of the school day, the hall was open to families, with their children, to explore their Fairtrade Art Exhibition. All classes had worked hard to create a piece of art linking to Fairtrade. One photo shows a corner of the hall displaying Fairtrade Superheroes ( and a smoothie bike, child powered to make banana smoothies) and the other is a collage of sections of the exhibition including alternative Fairtrade logos and paintings of coffee and cocoa.

A corner of the Hall where Fairtrade banana smoothies were made powered by children on the bike
a collage of childrens pictures relating to aspects of Fairtrade
A collage of sections of the Alverstoke Junior School art exhibition for Fairtrade Fortnight (photos – GFA)

In addition to the Art Exhibition, Young Governors raised money through various Fairtrade themed activities.