6. Portsmouth

 

Who are we?

We are volunteers who worked with Portsmouth City Council to make Portsmouth a Fairtrade City in 2004. We had our Fairtrade status renewed this year.

 

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We have been meeting regularly since 2002

Our aims are to raise awareness of Fairtrade, encourage more people to use Fairtrade goods, and more retailers and catering establishments to sell them. We seek to promote Fairtrade in community organisations and workplaces of the borough.

We meet at Portsmouth Civic Offices each month

Together with Portsmouth City Council we’ve achieved Fairtrade City status for the City.

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Annual Report December 2012

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We have had a very successful year with strong support from a small group of committed people and a great deal of help from Jane Singh (Visitor Services Manager) for PCC who works with us on behalf of Portsmouth City Council.  We also owe debts to Portsmouth City Council for their financial and other support and to Nick Leach, Catering Manager at the University of Portsmouth who has hosted events for us with delicious Fairtrade menus and has helped to fund out flyers. Southern Cooperatives and Fyffes have also been most helpful with supplies which have helped us to make an impact.

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The number of Fairtrade outlets has increased to 50+ shops plus and 51 cafes, bars or restaurants. These are listed on our website and also in our Portsmouth Fairtrade guide.

Public awareness seems higher than ever. We are obviously encouraged by the success of Fairtrade nationally with 4,500+ products now available and sales still increasing.

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Our steering group meets each month and over the year we have undertaken the following:

With funding from Nick Leach at the University of Portsmouth we produced 5,000 guides to Fairtrade in Portsmouth and have distributed these via shops, stalls mailings and church groups.  In order to update this, we have phoned and visited lots of establishments together with the Tourist Information Centre, to see which should be included in our own Fairtrade guide and also in the Eating, Drinking and Shopping guide for Portsmouth

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We have produced information about Fairtrade suppliers for local cafes and restaurants and responded to queries about sourcing supplies.

We have visited lots of cafes, pubs and restaurants to encourage them to serve FT products.

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Throughout the year, we have given a number of talks to local groups: schools, church groups etc . We are able to use a projector to show PowerPoint presentations. We have had some good media coverage, produced mailings for schools and used the Fairtrade banner in a number of locations.

We have also been interviewed for local radio several times.

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Our publicity also included a flower bed in Southsea with the FT logo and the purchase of a new FT pop-up banner

We have maintained our website: www.portsmouthfairtrade.org.uk together with the Havant and Gosport groups and are currently looking at ways of improving this and possibly using a different system for organizing the information. This year we have also set up a Facebook page and we maintain an email list for advertising events

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We work regularly with schools, encouraging them to work on becoming Fairtrade schools. Two have achieved this (St Swithun’s and St Edmunds) and others have done interesting work. We have sent a schools newsletter round to all local schools, circulated flyers on becoming a Fairtrade school and offered to work with teachers, do assemblies etc.

A number of schools organised talks and activities based around footprints during Fairtrade Fortnight.

St Paul’s RC Primary got onto the front page of the Portsmouth News with their footprints  which led to the local Coop shop!

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Copnor Junior have organised craft activities for students based around the FT Mark following exercises to help the children understand what is involved.

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For Fairtrade Fortnight 2012 St Swithun’s Catholic School in Southsea has won the Margaret Demidecka Fairtrade Award  (Primary Category ). They decided to see how far they could ‘Take a Step’ for Fairtrade.
A large footstep was designed by an artistic pupil, showing examples of Fairtrade products and displaying the school logo. The other footstep had a space for recipients to write a message. Each child in the school was given a pair of footsteps to send anywhere worldwide and ask the recipient to ‘Take a Step for Fairtrade’. The footsteps have travelled miles and miles, and the school has proudly received footsteps from as far as Australia, Canada, New Zealand and also from schools in Ethiopia and Indonesia.  They have also been visiting all their local shops and sent the steps to all local schools. The Fairtrade committee has recorded the distances of each footstep and displayed this on a large world map to record the distances. All this preparation has culminated into a Fairtrade event with lots of different activities where they revealed the distances they had spread the Fairtrade message.
We would like to congratulate the school for having stepped 269,694 kilometres with their Fairtrade messages and winning the Demidecka Award for primary schools!

This is actually only one of many activities the school has organised to promote Fairtrade. We had a great day there at their Fairtrade Fair for example. The award was well deserved

Work with churches

We had raised the issue of churches’ maintaining Fairtrade status with local Anglican contacts and they set up a meeting to look at ways forwards with Adam Gardner as main speaker. This was very useful and Fairtrade has been discussed at Synod twice since. We have also used Christian Aid contacts to distribute information.

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We are now working with the Havant group to set up a meeting to share good practice across churches.

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Fairtrade Fortnight in late Feb/March is the main focus of our work:

  • Information about the Fortnight was widely distributed. We also ensured publicity on the News and other publications especially Pompey Chimes, the local Anglican newspaper.
  • Our main event was a Middle Eastern Evening with a Fairtrade tagine at the University of Portsmouth with two speakers from Zaytoun, a community interest project in Palestine which sells Fairtrade olive oil.  We also had a talk from Rachel Nassif who runs the local Help Palestine group selling Zaytoun products
  • We held a tea party in Portsmouth Guildhall, hosted by the Lord Mayor, Cheryl Buggy on Wed 7th March. We had delicious refreshments again provided by Nick Leach and he was able to talk with some local cafes about sourcing Fairtrade products.
  • Fairtrade coffee mornings were organised in Portsmouth Tourist Information Centres.
  • We got a supply of 12 boxes bananas from Fyffes (who were kind enough to deliver them to us too) and we distributed them in the Commercial Road precinct, getting good press coverage to launch the Fortnight and the 2012 edition of the City’s Fairtrade guide
  • A number of local churches and community groups organised Fairtrade coffee mornings.
  • We displayed our Fairtrade banner in a number of locations.

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We also played an active part in One World Week events around the city.

  • We had FT refreshments at the Portsmouth Film Society’s showing of the film Even the Rain
  • We promoted Fairtrade with leaflets and the banner at the event organised by Churches together in Eastney and Milton.
  • We took part in a one World Week evening again at the Hub with 20+ stalls (including ours and Created) a Fairtrade curry and a fishbowl discussion about making the world a better place

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We also work closely with the Portsmouth Climate Action Network and had a stall at the Portsmouth Summer Fair in May with a smoothie bike to make Fairtrade smoothies with bananas donated by Southern Coops.

 

We do work with other Fairtrade groups in the area, particularly Havant and Gosport and are part of the Hampshire Fairtrade Network. Three members attended the Hampshire Fairtrade AGM in Basingstoke which was a very inspiring event with schools reporting on their activities and a good opportunity to meet with others. We hope that the AGM in 2013 can be in Portsmouth. We have attended meetings and supplied materials and ideas to Gosport and Havant groups and value the support and ideas we receive from them

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As a county we have joined the Hampshire Chamber of Commerce and we have had stalls at a couple of Chamber events and given a brief talk on what we do. The County group has produced very good leaflets to explain the benefits of Fairtrade and we distributed these to all the firms represented.

As mentioned before, we have close links with the Head of Catering services at Portsmouth University (all of whose outlets use a wide range of Fairtrade products) and also with the University Students’ Union who plan to undertake Fairtrade activities in the Spring.

We are extremely grateful to Portsmouth City Council for their generous contributions towards running the Portsmouth Fairtrade Forum. We do feel that we are making an impact and that the benefits of Fairtrade are becoming far better known but there is still much to do and our commitment is as great as ever.

Sue James

Chair, Portsmouth Fairtrade Forum                                                                                            1.12.12

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Displays on Southsea seafront: pictures thanks to Toby Smith.

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Portsmouth University has Fairtrade status. Check out their cafes – they are great and all open to the public