Fair trade in Chesterton: One Step at a Time

fair tradeIt’s FAIRTRADE FORTNIGHT – always a busy time for me and for other members of the Cambridge Fair Trade Group. On Tuesday morning, I caught an early bus to Chesterton Community College, to meet their staff and talk to their Year 11 students about the Cambridge Fair Trade Group.

I was welcomed with a big smile and a steaming mug of fairtrade tea by Chesterton’s Head of Humanities Kath Hutchinson, who told me all about the school’s journey towards fairtrade school status … ‘one step at a time’.

There’s a lot on. Also this week, Chesterton will be welcoming Jennifer Day of Traidcraft, and holding a fair trade tea party with cakes and Green & Black cookies. It all sounded extremely chocolatey and scrumptious. (more…)

Big Fairtrade event at Anglia Ruskin this month

Are you a Fairtrade supporter? Then come to the East of England Campaigns Day at Anglia Ruskin on 24th November. It is the first event of its kind in Cambridge and jointly hosted by Fairtrade Cambridge, Anglia Ruskin Fairtrade University and the Fairtrade Foundation.

The event will offer ideas and support for developing Fairtrade City campaigning.

We’ve got a great agenda lined up, including:

  • Interesting workshops such as ‘What next for your Fairtrade campaign?’, ‘What do we understand by the term Fair?’
  • Stalls, displays and Fairtrade tasters
  • Elections for the East of England National Campaigner Committee representative
  • Networking opportunities and the chance to share ideas and experiences

Date and time: Saturday 24 November 2012, 10am-4pm

Address: Anglia Ruskin University, East Road, Cambridge, CB1 1PT

Book a place at the East of England Campaigns Day here

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Amanda Taylor: Your Liberal Democrat candidate in Queen Edith’s

Amanda standing for re-election

Liberal Democrat Councillor, Amanda Taylor is standing for re-election in Queen Edith’s. Amanda has been in Queen Edith’s for nearly twenty years and represented the area on Cambridge City Council since 1994. She lives in Holbrook Road with her husband Ashley, and their eight-year old son, a Morley Memorial pupil.

Amanda is best known for her work on transport and housing. Her biggest achievements have been Dunstan Court on Wulfstan Way, which replaced Labour’s sub-standard sheltered housing accommodation; and improved bus services, following her campaign for improved reliability. ‘When I first came to live here,’ says Amanda, ‘there were just two buses an hour into town from Hills Road – and they didn’t always come on time. Now there are over twenty buses an hour, and bus usage has increased dramatically.’

More recent successes for Amanda and the Lib Dem Focus Team include revamped play facilities at Nightingale Avenue Recreation Ground and new lighting and paving outside the shops on Wulfstan Way. They have also got the police to monitor parking outside schools.

Amanda is currently campaigning for improvements to cycleways in the area, for example lighting the Guided Bus cycleway, and for road safety improvements, eg yellow lines on junctions near the Queen Edith’s Primary School.

She is an active member of the Friends of Rock Road Library, which started as a gardening group and then took on a campaigning role in the fight to prevent the Conservative County Council from closing the library down.

In our wider community, Amanda chairs the Council’s South Area Committee, is a member of St John’s Church on Hills Road, and is a member of the Cambridge Fairtrade Steering Group.

Amanda and Lib Dem team visit residents in Queen Edith’s all through the year, not just at election time. When there are issues in a particular street, we always try to listen to the concerns of residents. At election time we try to call on as many households as we can, and we look forward to speaking to you soon, if we haven’t already! The BBC came to see us in action on Tuesday: see here.

Please see the link on the left for this year’s Liberal Democrat election manifesto for Cambridge.

One World is Enough, Cambridge Fairtrade pioneer

My Nepalese cardigan from One World is Enough

Yesterday, I visited One World is Enough on Bridge Street with the Chair of the Cambridge Fairtrade Steering Group, Revd Pat Heap. We were there for a photo to illustrate a story for the Cambridge News about the Fairtrade retail audit that we are carrying out during Fairtrade Fortnight.

One World is Enough was the first fairtrade shop in Cambridge, and is unique in the city, I think, in stocking only fairtrade goods and it’s run by Peter and Laura Harlow. It is an eclectic cornucopia of beautiful and original clothes, jewellery and gifts from around the world – everything from floaty dresses for evenings out to vivid and cosy rainbow jumpers and hoodies.

I first got to know the shop and them about twelve years ago, when they were on Mill Road. They’ve been active in the fairtrade movement in Cambridge for years and were involved in gaining fairtrade city status for Cambridge back in 2004. The most memorable event leading up to that was a Fairtrade Fashion Show they led for us at the old drama centre in Glisson Road.

Since then, they’ve moved, via market stalls and an Internet operation, to their present site on Bridge Street, close to Quayside. Much more footfall and an alternative way to spend your time and your money, and as they put it, you’re ‘helping skilled craftspeople in developing countries to help themselves’.

Here is the way the Cambridge News reported the retail audit, in their Style Guide: How to stick to Fairtrade shops in the city.

We look forward to hearing all your nominations for new shop windows needing our Fairtrade stickers!

Favourite Fairtrade place in Cambridge? Please tell!

Watching the Mayor put up the first Fairtrade Cambridge sticker

Yesterday, the Mayor of Cambridge, Councillor Ian Nimmo-Smith, put up the first Cambridge Fairtrade sticker in the Green Coffee Company and gave out stickers to Fairtrade retailers, including the Co-op, Harriet Kelsall Jewellery Design and One World Is Enough.

The stickers are sponsored by the Co-operative, which was the first big supermarket to stock Fairtrade goods back in 1992.

Cambridge shoppers are being asked to keep an eye out for Fairtrade goods when they go shopping – and pass on their findings to the Cambridge Fairtrade Steering Group by email ([email protected]) or via their blog http://fairtradecambridge.wordpress.com. Having a good list will help us when we come to renew our Fairtrade City status, and we would like to know about anywhere that sells a range of Fairtrade products. Look out for the green and blue Fairtrade mark.

Cambridge has been a Fairtrade City since  1994.