Fairer World News January 2017
A New Fair Trade Year
Every January, after a rest at Christmas, we look to the year ahead, a familiar routine for many of us at Fairer World. The year is a structured one in lots of ways (and we’re always on the look out for orders and invitations) :-
we start with New Year reductions (for a short time: fair trade and price reductions / fluctuations do not sit easily together), and, soon, the first of the new spring season products
then Fairtrade Fortnight, end of Feb to mid March, broadly speaking, a time of year strongly influenced by supermarkets’ agenda rather than fair trade shops and campaigners. Nevertheless, very widely supported.
run up to Easter – always busy for us with our range of fair trade Easter eggs and chocolate.
in May Christian Aid Week, link with our many church contacts: Christian Aid is an official agency of 40 mainstream denominations. Raising the profile of justice, which includes fair trade.
June and July, the time for school and community fetes – fair trade to new faces
August, a new Traidcraft catalogue for Autumn and Christmas is launched; we order crafts and foods but nothing much else happens.
September and October see lots of new products and outside events, both large & small, in people’s houses, church or community centres.
in November everything intensifies – stalls, customer orders, deliveries, shoppers.
December – emphasis on shop customers, keeping high stock level, taking & fulfilling orders quickly, doing deliveries.
We will be trying to do the same things better than before, as well as some new ones, like Traidcraft is setting out to do, too (see above). And we know we need take on publicity. Our website has been out-of-date for long time. We intend to change this. We are also restoring our email list for the Fairer World Newsletter and significant announcements. We continue to increase our range of stock and are going to more trade fairs to see the latest products. New ones in 2016, Braintree bamboo mix socks and Dalit soaps & spices, have been big successes.
How is the shop doing?
Sales in December 2016 were £20,850, a little up on Dec ’15. This was both a frustration and a relief. We had hoped for a bigger sales increase, having done our utmost, once again, but, at the same time, as December progressed, we were fearful that sales may not hold up immediately before Christmas. We knew some best-selling foods had already sold out in Traidcraft’s and Divine’s warehouses, so our usual practice of having the fast sellers highly profiled and quickly re-stocked – like chocolate coins, Christmas tree biscuits and small Christmas cakes – would not be possible this time. We had to take a different approach and concentrate on introducing some new products like Dalit Spices and Divine Caramel Chocolate Hearts. Both proved to be a big success, fortunately.
Thank you again to all our customers / supporters.
Unfortunately, our main suppliers have warned us to expect price increases soon because of the fall in the value of the pound sterling against the dollar and the euro. Details next month.
Traidcraft: we expect the Spring Catalogue, to be available in early February, with some crafts and hand-made cards arriving before that.
Dr Bronners Magic Soaps: soaps made from fair trade ingredients.
Dalit Goods: soaps, spices in glass jars, oil burner oils and carved stone candle holders. We had a re-stock within weeks of their arrival and have now introduced a free cardboard presentation pack for people who buy 3 of the spice jars, making an unusual and affordable gift.
‘Dalit’ literally translates to downtrodden or oppressed. There are 250 million Dalits who are exposed to this injustice. Dalit Goods products are all made or grown by Dalit people and they work with a partner charity, Life Association, to provide education, healthcare and a home to vulnerable children.
This is some of what we have in the sale:-
Christmas cards, Christmas wrap and decorations
Joint Traidcraft/Cafod/Christian Aid, Amnesty International and Friends of the Earth cards, Christmas wrap and Christmas decorations – all 25% (a quarter) off the marked price – price reduction will be made at the till.
Christmas cards, Christmas wrap and decorations will be on sale until Saturday 21 January.
Clothing: all the adults and children’s garments we have left have been restored to the shop and most are reduced in price. Trying on facilities available, or returns policy – pay for the garments and return them with till receipt for refund or exchange.
Clothes will be on sale until Saturday 28 January.
Foods: These are generally ones approaching or a little beyond their best before dates. Plus some seasonal foods we have left. In addition there are medium, dark and strong longer-dated Equal Exchange organic and Fairtrade ground coffees which we bought last year when there was a reduction by our suppliers. We are selling them at a reduced price.
Ordinary crafts: ends of lines, shelf soiled, etc. are being progressively put out on the shelves. Oddments of single cards will added to the sale shortly.
As with all clothing, crafts and food reductions, the producers have been paid in full
Fairtrade Fortnight 27 Feb to 12 March
Theme: “It’s time to put Fairtrade in your break” Resources – posters, event starter pack, action guides – available now.
Message from Traidcraft’s CEO
In the January 2017 Bulletin from Traidcraft, there is a message from Robin Roth, who was appointed Traidcraft’s Chief Executive Officer last October. He was previously head of the large German fair trade organisation, Gepa. He writes:-
“to succeed in our mission, we are going to have to make some changes. I believe that our products can taste better, look better and perform better. I believe that when we have the right products from the right producer groups we can begin to see transformative change at the start of the supply chain. I also believe that we can reach out to new customers who are desperate for truly ethical, fair and tasty food and crafts. I also believe that you, our supporters, deserve unstinting acknowledgement for the amazing work you do. Whether by selling, donating, giving talks or championing the case for justice, you are the many heroes who make up a movement.”
Trees for Life – Our donations box at Fairer World is for Trees for Life, planting olive and almond trees in Palestine by the Palestine Fair Trade Association, who supply us with fair trade olive oil, za’atar, maftoul & freekeh via the solidarity group Zaytoun. www.zaytoun.org
Mobile Phone Collection for Malawi
Collecting box, with basic details, at Fairer World
Everyone is welcome at everything
Monday 16 January 6.00pm York Fair Trade Forum meets at City of York Council West Offices, off Station Rise. www.fairtradeyork.com.
Friday 20 January 9.30 to 11.30am (& each Fri in term time) Friday English: English Conversation for Women – practice for speakers of other languages – at Friends Meeting House, Friargate. £2 per session, at the door.
Friday 20 January 4.30 to 6.00pm in St Helen’s Square. Say No to Trump Demonstration on the day of his inauguration. Hosted by York Stand Up to Racism.
Tuesday 24 January 7.30pm Dirty Power: Coal, Human Rights, Drax and Colombia. Talk by Johana Rocha Gómez, co-founder of Tierra Digna and University of York Human Rights Defender. And a performance of Buried Sunshine – a solo performance based on testimonies of people in Colombia. Friends Meeting House, Friargate. Free entry / donation. Poster at Fairer World.
Saturday 28 January 11.00am to 4.00pm Open Day at the Fairer World shop, for York Residents Weekend. Refreshments and samples.
York Interfaith Group 2017 programme of meetings etc is available at Fairer World for people to take away. No charge.www.yorkinterfaith.org .