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We meet regularly at 7.30 at the Friends’ Meeting House, Northwood Road, Hilsea. Our next meeting is on March 29th. Learn more about our campaigns.
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Fairtrade Fortnight is starting on 27th Feb – a chance to tell people about its benefits and to take some Fairtrade breaks. A list of the events we have planned is below.
The Fairtrade Foundation has more of an emphasis on exploitation this year – would you buy this product if you knew the story behind it?
They are also encouraging us to write to our MPs about the needs of poorer countries in the context of Brexit and argue that millions of people from the poorest countries rely on trade with the UK and could face around £1 billion in extra taxes and unfair competition if the UK signs free trade agreements with wealthy countries.
But with the right policies in place, Brexit could be the moment when the UK starts trading in ways that really benefits people from the poorest countries. Measures could incluthe Fairtrade websitede duty-free access for products from the poorest countries, and trade rules that make it easier for producers in poor countries to export more valuable products – enabling them to trade their way out of poverty.
Coffee, Climate Justice and Fairtrade
The local Fairtrade group is putting a special emphasis on coffee this year with a visit by Santiago Dolmus from Cecocafen, (Central Association of Northern Coffee Cooperatives) in Nicaragua
Cecocafen was founded in 1997 and now has 2,400 members organised into twelve community based co-operatives. They have been selling their Fairtrade coffee in the UK through Cafedirect since 2002.
Nicaraguan farmers are already suffering severely from the consequences of climate change: erratic, unpredictable weather patterns with more frequent drought, floods, and hurricanes.
As in other areas around the world, coffee is no longer viable at lower altitudes due to climate change so many farmers are converting to cocoa production.
During his talk at Portsmouth University, Santiago will highlight the importance of Fairtrade and give examples of programmes to counter the impact of climate change. It’s at 7 p.m. on Monday 6th March in the Eldon Building. Try Fairtrade banana cake and CafeDirect coffee too.
Trade policy is obviously very confused right now. Trump seems to have stopped TTIP but there’s a danger that Britain outside Europe will sign up to an even worse deal. Meanwhile MEPs have voted 408 to 254 to pass the EU-Canada trade deal CETA, which we’ve been campaigning against.
This is a quote by Nick Dearden, the director of Global Justice Now: “Over three million people across Europe signed a petition calling for CETA to be scrapped, while hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets of cities like Berlin saying they wanted no part of this toxic trade deal. So it’s shameful that so many MEPs in voting for CETA have come down in favour of the army of corporate lobbyists that have been howling for this deal rather than the voices of the ordinary people that they are supposed to represent. This trade deal will have terrible impacts on our public services, labour rights and consumer standards, so it is crucial that Fox stops thwarting democratic process and that proper scrutiny and debate of CETA takes places for UK MPs.
“MEPs may have voted in favour of CETA , but that doesn’t mean it’s the end of the story. The strength of public opposition to the deal meant that the commission conceded that national parliaments must agree before it comes into full effect, and there’s every chance that that won’t happen in countries like Austria and Belgium. In the UK Liam Fox has proven to be very cunning in ensuring that a full parliamentary debate hasn’t happened on CETA. We will continue to fight to stop CETA being ratified in Westminster – something that will require MPs to take their role seriously.”
This is getting a lot of publicity at the moment at a time when the need for emergency aid has seldom been greater. But it’s important to keep publicising how aid money is used to further British and corporate interests as with the New Alliance which is pushing privatised agriculture.
Aid can also be misused. The International Development Committee has recently published its Special Report on Conduct of Adam Smith International (ASI). The report follows allegations that were made by the Mail on Sunday in December that aid contractors Adam Smith International “tried to deceive MPs and protect their lucrative business by faking glowing testimonials about their work overseas.”
Global Justice Now has found that in 2014 alone DfID spent £90million through the company, who witnessed a whopping £14million profit that same year. What’s more they are pushing free market reforms which entrench poverty and inequality and often benefit foreign mining companies rather than local people
You can read the Global Justice Now report on its website.
As you’ll know the Parliamentary debate on Trump’s State visit resulted in its being confirmed although there was plenty of criticism. Global Justice Now is building more links with other groups to challenge his policies especially on migration and climate change. When we know the dates there will be news of more action.
In 2012, it was estimated that every second, someone was displaced by climate or weather-related disaster. The International Organisation for Migration an expert body at the UN, says the most reliable estimate is that by 2050, up to 200 million people could be forced to leve their homes because of environmental pressures. 2016 was again the hottest year on record. Even more people are being forced to flee their homes because of extreme floods, droughts and super storms.
There is no international protection or support for these climate refugees., unlike those fleeing was and persecution. We need to change this. Friends of the Earth are asking people to write to Mr Antonio Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations. You can take action here.
Drug resistant bacteria are spreading across the world, threatening to turn previously treatable diseases into deadly killers.
Part of the problem is that farms are giving large amounts of antibiotics to livestock such as pigs. This allows farmers to keep livestock in unsuitable conditions that would otherwise make them sick. The only beneficiaries of the routine use of antibiotics are the big pharmaceutical and food companies who reap in the profits while putting our health at risk.
The routine farm use of antibiotics creates the perfect environment for bacteria to develop resistance to antibiotics. And these resistant bacteria can spread to humans. So when we become ill, the drugs we need might not work
If we don’t take action now, drug-resistant bacteria could be a bigger killer than cancer in 2050.
Coffee, Climate and Fairtrade
A talk by Santiago Dolmus, a coffee farmer from Nicaragua
Monday 6th March 7 pm The Eldon Building, University of Portsmouth
Free entry, Stalls, refreshments
More information on Eventbrite: Coffee Climate and Fairtrade–
St Thomas Cathedral Sun 5th March 8.45 to 10.15 and 11.45 to 12.30
Stall in Commercial Road Meet local campaigners and enjoy a free banana donated by Fyffes. By the Espresso coffee bar Wed 1st March from 11-1
Fairtrade tea party for International Women’s Day Wed. 8 March 11.30 to 2.30pm at the Deaf Centre, 279 Arundel Street, Portsmouth PO1 1LX Food and chat. ALL welcome.
Fairtrade coffee morning at Wild Thyme Wholefood shop in Palmerston Rd on Monday 6th March 10-12 with a visit from Nicaraguan farmer, Santiago Dolmus.
There will also be Fairtrade coffee mornings, pancake days and stalls selling Fairtrade goods in local churches and at St John’s Cathedral
Bananas in the Meridian Centre
Group members will be handing out Fairtrade bananas to shoppers in the Meridian Centre, Havant on Tuesday 28th February from 9:30am to 11:30am.
There’ll be a Fairtrade coffee morning at Havant URC, Elm Lane on 28th from 10-12.
On Saturday 4 March there’ll be a Fairtrade stall at a Coffee Morning at St Faith’s Church, Havant 10-12
The Fairtrade group in Emsworth is holding a Big Brew Tea Party – Sat. 4 March 2.30-4.00pm in the Parish Hall, Church Path, Emsworth. Afternoon tea, with Cake Stall, Traidcraft Stall, Raffle. No entry charge. All welcome. Details – 01243 378560
There’s also a coffee morning at Havant URC, Elm Lane, Havant on Tuesday 7 March 0am – 12 noon with the Mayor Cllr. Faith Ponsonby and Nicaraguan coffee farmer Santiago Dolmus plus a Traidcraft stall.
We’re having a Fairtrade themed Games Evening on Tuesday 7th March with Curry Supper Havant URC (as above) 7pm. Tickets £5 from Sue 02392 250267, Maureen 01243 377411 or the church
Coffee morning Friday 10 March 10:30am – 1pm, St Michaels, Leigh Park with opportunity to buy Fairtrade products
“Take a Fairtrade Break” – at the Discovery Centre on 4 March
Join us for a well deserved break and find out how you can put FAIRTRADE into YOUR break and so give all those hard working Fairtrade producers a break too.
There will be plenty to do and taste for all the family: from dancing -Break dancing of course – to playing a game of Breaks and Ladders – no snakes but beware of the banana skins! Some Fairtrade products to buy, prizes to be won and a raffle.
The Bookworm Cafe will be serving Fairtrade coffee throughout the Fortnight.
Free entry to the event.
Our next meeting is on Wed March 29th at 7.30 at the Friends’ Meeting House, Northwood road, Hilsea PO2 9QT.
Just come along if you’d like to join us.
We’re really keen to develop Campaign Exchange as a place to share local events, news and campaigns, so do make use of and upload comments and ideas. http://www.campaign.exchange/
Facebook If you’re on Facebook do follow the local groups and Global Justice Now nationally to see what’s going on.
Throughout 2016, the government introduced an increasingly draconian set of policies which have made the lives of refugees and other migrants even harder. Global Justice Now has produced a summary of these which you can read at globaljustice.org/blog.
They are particularly concerned about the EU/Turkey deal which deters people from travelling to Greece and forces them to take more dangerous routes. As of mid December, 4,733 people died crossing the Mediterranean this year. So we have an e-action calling on Boris Johnson to change this policy and it’s at globaljustice.org.uk/migration.
Another area Global Justice is looking into is the profits made by privatised security companies which benefit from militarised and securitised border controls. This industry is probably worth 15 billion euros and they have a trade fair planned in Hampshire from 7-9 March.
Dreaming of Empire
Global Justice Now has produced a new briefing laying out the picture the international policies the current government may pursue in a post-Brexit world. These include an extreme version of free trade, aid to benefit large corporations and the use of military power to secure economic interests. Free from Global Justice Now.
A brand new report, published by Global Justice Now and the New Economics Foundation, argues that coming out of CAP after Brexit presents an opportunity to overhaul the system of subsidies in a way that not only saves the taxpayer £1.1 billion, but also ensures that public money is used for public goods like fighting climate change, restoring the environment, revitalising local economies and creating new jobs in the UK food system.
One of our major fights in 2016 was to get the UK Parliament to review DfID’s support for corporate agriculture and agribusiness by funding the New Alliance which has been widely condemned. We still need to keep up the pressure.