Mark Dawson, a PhD student at the University of Leeds, is set to undertake an important study of Fair trade activism by churches.
Mark is part of the Department of Theology and Religious Studies; the department has a longstanding focus on understanding the role of religion in local communities.
The study will focus on two Yorkshire communities and will look at how the churches in those areas connect with the wider public through their action in support of Fair Trade.
Mark Dawson (right) with the Archbishop of York
Mark will interview churchgoers and listen to their opinions on how churches relate to their local communities in their work on Fair Trade, including their relationship to: the Fairtrade Towns movement, local businesses, politicians, community groups, other faith groups and the general public.
The churchgoers will also be asked about how their work on Fair Trade relates to their own faith.
The study will take three years to complete and will make a significant contribution to the body of research on Fair Trade activism.
The University of Leeds is a Fairtrade University and the flagship employer for the Yorkshire Fairtrade Region.
The Fairtrade Yorkshire Steering group committee congratulated award winners, Amarjit and Jas’ ,at their meeting at the University of Leeds on Saturday 9th November.
Amarjit and Jas’ worship at the Sikh temple Guru Nanak Nishkam Sewak Jatha Leeds. The temple was presented with the ‘Best Outreach and Networking award’ by Fairtrade Foundation CEO, Michael Gidney, at the national Fairtrade Supporter Conference in London on 5th October.
The award recognises the achievements and creativity of Fairtrade campaigners and supporters during the first half of 2013, including during the Fairtrade Fortnight campaign.
As well as organising events for Fairtrade Fortnight, Fairtrade supporters at the temple also translated Fairtrade literature into Punjabi and wrote a document which links support of Fairtrade with insights from the Sikh faith.
Well Done to St. Mary’s Menston for their efforts in working towards Fairtrade School status.
Benedict, Isobel, Marienne and Jack Tunnecliffe: taking Fairtrade forward at St. Mary’s
The students have set up a campaign to make Fairtrade products more accessible locally and have worked with Leeds Development Education Centre to learn more about fair trade issues within school. “The challenge is to continue this work by educating our families, our neighbours and the wider community about this essential work” says teacher Jack Tunnecliffe.
The Sikh temple Guru Nanak Nishkam Sewak Jatha Leeds was presented with the ‘Best Outreach and Networking award’ by Fairtrade Foundation CEO, Michael Gidney, at the national Fairtrade Supporter Conference in London on 5th October.
The award recognises the achievements and creativity of Fairtrade campaigners and supporters during the first half of 2013, including the Fairtrade Fortnight campaign.
In Leeds, during Fairtrade Fortnight, members of GNNSJ-Leeds organised a number of events in which they showcased Fairtrade products and talked to the local community about Fairtrade. They created their own material to highlight the links between the Fairtrade ethos and the Sikh faith and were involved in events such as: a national football tournament, a local lifestyle event and a wide range of activities at the Gurdwara.
Adam Gardner, competition judge and Communities Campaigns Manager at the Fairtrade Foundation said:
‘It’s a tough task picking winners from the vast amount of inspiring community action for Fairtrade across the UK. Each entry demonstrated the creativity, hard work and vision that epitomises the Fairtrade movement, and continues to bring about a better deal for more farmers and workers through selling their products as Fairtrade.
The winners demonstrated these qualities in abundance, and we are looking forward already to see how they and other groups continue to build the movement for fairer trade in their communities in the coming year and beyond.’
On the 5th of October, four students from Notre Dame Sixth Form College’s Fairtrade committee; Aneka, Rowanne, Katy and Hannah; travelled down to London to attend this year’s Fairtrade Supporters Conference.
This is an annual event which allows the students to join fellow Fairtrade campaigners and share ideas. There are also opportunities to hear from inspiring global speakers, meet like-minded people from around the UK, explore ideas for their campaign and find out what we will be campaigning for in 2014.
The day included introduction talks from the Heads of the Fairtrade Foundation, Kevin McCullough and Jonathan Smith, as well as contributions from Michael Gidney, the Chief Executive of the Fairtrade Foundation, James Mwai, Acting Executive director of Fairtrade Africa and Renwick Rose representing the Windward Islands Farmers Association.
In the afternoon there were a series of breakout sessions where students attended events focussing on the important issues for Fairtrade campaigns like how to use social media effectively and the importance of engaging local businesses.
Students also had the opportunity during the day to attend a creative workshop and to sample a range of Fairtrade products and network with suppliers.
The students all enjoyed the day and said that they had learned a lot about Fairtrade, in particular how it improves the lives of others and how to develop their own campaign within Notre Dame 6th Form College.
All four students have returned keen to share their experiences with other members of the Fairtrade group and to ensure that they have the best campaign strategy possible.
Helen Robinson of Fair and Funky (a Fair Trade not for profit business based in Holmfirth) visited the national Fairtrade conference, all the way down in London.
Pictured here are Karen Palframan of Fairtrade Bradford, Mike Gidney (CEO of the Fairtrade Foundation) and Sophie and Helen of Fair and Funky.
Read Helen’s fantastic blog about the event below:
Fairtrade Pickering’s Annual General meeting, at the Memorial Hall, was well attended . The annual report listed the many achievements of the group during the past year, including the successful One World Week event which will be repeated again this year.
Guest speakers were Fairtrade Yorkshire Coordinator, Mark Dawson, and Janice Gwilliam of Fairtrade Malton and Norton. There were plenty of questions for the duo and the lively evening was rounded with Fairtrade refreshments and delicious cakes.
Mark Dawson stated; “it is great to see so much Fairtrade activity going on in Pickering. It is important that we have a strong presence in our market towns and Fairtrade Pickering is a fine example of a friendly, active group that promotes our cause so effectively in a rural community.”
Professor Bob Doherty at the York Fair Trade Forum AGM
Fair trade activists gathered at the Priory Street Centre, for the York Fair Trade Forum Annual General Meeting.
A full team of enthusiastic candidates was elected, to help run the group and its many activities that take place across the city.
Helen Harrison gave an annual report which highlighted the thriving nature of the group.
Guest speaker, Professor Bob Doherty, of the University of York Business school, praised the role of grassroots activists in the Fair Trade movement.
Although Fair Trade has become ‘mainstream’ in some senses, he argued that now, more than ever, Fair Trade activism is needed to encourage businesses to drive up their ethical standards. Shoppers who are concerned about the impact of their purchases on producers in developing countries, should support Fair Trade pioneering businesses such as: Divine Chocolate, Traidcraft and the Cooperative. Bob argued that, it is businesses such as these, who go further to assist the well being of producers, and who are willing to innovate, helping to raise standards and introduce new products, that will take Fair Trade to the next level.
“The best presentation I have ever seen,” was the response from the Fairtrade Foundation’s Education Campaigns Manager, Kate Jones after watching a Leeds’ school present on how they became a Fairtrade School.
Six children from Otley All Saints school wowed Kate Jones with their visual and humorous presentation which gave lots of examples of the activities the children have been involved in to raise awareness of Fairtrade. The presentation was part of the Global Fairness School celebration at Leeds Civic Hall on October 18th, which was opened by Deputy Director of Children’s Services at Leeds City Council, Paul Brennan.
Mr Brennan used his speech to promote Leeds Child Friendly City initiative by drawing parallels between Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream” speech to the struggle for all children to access their rights today. Other workshops were delivered by theatre company Blah Blah Blah on freedom from slavery, Just Trading Scotland on the 90kg rice challenge, YMCA on Ugandan street children and Leeds DEC on ethical trade and modern day slavery. “I’ve got lots of ideas to do a Fair trade day at school” remarked one 9 year old participant.
Fairtrade Skipton are set to achieve their ambition of Fairtrade Town status. Fairtrade Coordinator, Liz Roodhouse, attended the Skipton Town Council meeting this month and gave a presentation. Following a discussion afterwards there was a unanimous vote and a resolution was passed in support of Fairtrade. Fairtrade Skipton now have a council representative on their Steering group and are ready to begin the application for Skipton to join the ranks of proud Fairtrade Towns.