Thursday, 24 January 2013

Fairglobe range just got bigger!

In Prestonpans we are lucky to have several supermarkets stocking Fairtrade items.

Lidl shoppers will be familiar with the Fairglobe range which includes tea, coffee, sugar, orange juice, bananas and chocolate bars. 

The range now includes Fairtrade Double Choc Chip Cookes - priced at £1.09 for 150g (8 biscuits).  This compares very favourably with other brands on offer (and has a greater % of choc chips!)

From Peru to Prestonpans....

All the best things come from Peru: Macchu Picchu coffee, Paddington Bear, potatoes and quinoa (pronounced (keen-wah).

The Small World shop in Orchard Crescent, Prestonpans, has started to stock Quinola so what better time to find out more about this superfood.

Quinoa is super healthy.

And to top it all quinoa also happens to be super healthy. Quinoa is a complete protein that can replace meat, it is full of vitamins, is gluten and cholesterol free. Read more here→

Quinola – the superior Quinoa.

If you already love quinoa then Quinola is your obvious foodie choice. You wouldn’t buy cheap rice or pasta, so you can now discover how much better Quinola is relative to white label quinoa. Quinola was voted Peru’s best tasting quinoa. They should know as the Peruvians are the world’s biggest consumers of the stuff. We think you will be surprised by the difference. Clean, crisp and tasty there is no risk of finding a porridgey sludge at the bottom of your pan. In fact several Michelin starred restaurants agree with us and use Quinola as their quinoa of choice.

Great for the planet.

Quinola is sustainably organic. By replacing one beef serving with quinoa, you will be reducing your carbon footprint by 50X (no that is not a typo).

Ethical.

It is deeply ethical too. The farmers in Cabaña avoid being squeezed at the bottom of the production chain via the Fairtrade guarantees. The ethics do not stop in Peru, though. A team of mentally handicapped adults in France have also found employment by packing all Quinola products.

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Now we can Go Further!


We are delighted to announce that we have been successful in our bid for funding from East Lothian Council's Fairtrade Grant Scheme.

The grant for £149.30 will enable the Steering Group to purchase promotional items such as badges and stickers; t-shirts for competition prizes and resources specific to the 2013 Fairtrade Fortnight theme of “Go Further”.

We will also add bunting to our collection of items available for other groups to borrow (currently comprising a DVD and an inflatable balloon!).

We are currently working on our Fairtrade Fortnight activities and will post the details here as soon as we have them.

In the meantime, if we can help on your Fairtrade journey, please let us know - we want to help.


The financial assistance from East Lothian Council has been crucial to Prestonpans Steering Group and we are very grateful to the Economic Development Department for their continued support.  

If you are interested in accessing The Fairtrade Grant Scheme (open until March 2013 if funds allow) contact Economic Development by email economicdevelopment@eastlothian.gov.uk or Tel: 01620 827282. 

Renewal


Earlier this month, Prestonpans achieved renewed status as a Fairtrade Town! 


The Fairtrade Foundation commended our efforts and, in particular, the work done by Preston Lodge High School, who carried out a Fairtrade audit of local organisations on our behalf.  (you can read Preston Lodge's findings here)

Prestonpans Primary School was awarded Fairtrade School status last year and continues to support Fairtrade (as do other organisations in a less formal way).

We are lucky to have several stockists of Fairtrade goods including Scotmid, the Co-op, Lidl, The Small World Shop and Fairtrade coffee is available in the Pitstop Cafe and at Prestongrange Museum visitor centre....but....

...there is still much to do.

 
We need more retailers selling fairtrade
We need more cafes and workplaces serving fairtrade.
We need more individuals and groups buying fairtrade
and - we need volunteers on the Steering Group to support and encourage them, and to publicise their efforts.


Where do we start?  The feedback from the Foundation (see letter, left) is very helpful.  Want to help us?


Friday, 16 November 2012

Our road to getting signage

We have previously mentioned our hope to have "A Fairtrade Town" signs installed at each of the four "Welcome to Prestonpans" gateway signs.

We are pleased to say that thanks to funding from East Lothian Council's Civic Pride Fund, they are now installed. 



However, it has been quite a journey to getting them...

December 2011: we contacted East Lothian Council to ask how to go about getting signs putting up at the entrances to the town and an idea of cost.

This provoked a lot of discussion, not least because the Transportation Department were concerned because a) it might set a precedent (we hope so!) and b) the Council's own website didn't mention its Fairtrade County status on the front page. 

It was clear that this particular department didn't really 'get' that Fairtrade Town status is an official accreditation and spoke volumes for the prevailing attitude of the local authority to Fair Trade (for many steering group members it confirmed a long-held belief that Fair Trade was little more than a box-ticking exercise). We were a little disheartened but continued our discussions.

February 2012  The Council were "not against" the idea, but it wasn't a prority for the cash-strapped Transportation Division.  Even given the modest mount we were quoted by the Roads Department of £400, we simply didn't have the funds to pay for this so applied to the council's Civic Pride Fund.  Yes, that's right, we were applying to one department of the council to pay another department of the council...

April 2012 We found out our application to the Civic Pride Fund was successful.  However, we weren't able to crack open the Fair Trade champagne truffles just yet....


May 2012: Problem #1 We contacted the Transportation Division to order the signs only to find that it was going to cost more than quoted.  Fortunately, this was soon sorted out but was a heart-stopping moment.

Problem #2 The cheque arrived made payable to "The Prestonpans Fairtrade Town Signage" -  and required to be paid into a bank account.

Athough we're a constituted group, we do not regularly receive and make payments, we operate on an informal basis and don't have a bank account (and certainly not one specifically for signage).

Bearing in mind that the award comes from the council and will be used to pay the council, it was rather vexatious that there didn't seem to be a common sense approach to this.

As a group that promotes fair trade and seeks to educate about social justice, ideally we would wish to "put our money where our mouth is".  The only ethical bank that offers a current account to community groups is the Co-operative Bank.  This account is only available to members of a trade body (whose objectives we share but whose membership we can't afford).

So what about the unethical banks? Even if we wanted to bank with them, the ones we have looked at say we would need to make a deposit to open an account - and guess what, we haven't got any money.

June 2012 - To cut a  l-o-n-g  story short, the council were prepared to issue another cheque made payable to The Small World, which is a registered charity and one of the organisations that make up the Steering Group.

September 2012 - The signs were erected!

November 2012 - The invoice arrived.

We began to wonder if the signage saga was a metaphor for Fair Trade itself....
...the fewer steps between the customer and the producer, the better.
...it shouldn't be this complicated
...we'll get there eventually....

Thank you to everyone who made it happen.

Saturday, 13 October 2012

Reverse Trick or Treating this Hallowe'en!

You can hardly have failed to notice the abundance of Halloween-related items for sale in the shops.

Like Hallowe’en, chocolate should be a source of joy for all children, including those in countries where cocoa is grown. Unfortunately that is not the case today.

Despite years of promises from the major chocolate manufacturers, little has been done to tackle the documented problem of forced child labour on many farms that supply their cocoa. Moreover, low cocoa prices have left cocoa farmers in poverty year after year.

Why not give Fair Trade treats to your guisers and visitors this year? 

A wide selection of fairly-traded chocolate bars, coins, cookies, fruit snack packs and hot chocolate are available from Small World.  Look out for the Fairglobe range of chocolate in Lidl.  Scotmid have a good range of Fair Trade chocolate and Halls the newsagent have the familiar favourites such as Dairy Milk and Kit Kat.

Another, more radical approach is “reverse trick or treating,” where the children distribute Fair Trade chocolate to the adults and explain why they are doing this.

By doing either of these actions you will be helping to transform the international cocoa industry to end poverty in cocoa farming communities, end forced or abusive child labour in the cocoa fields, promote Fair Trade and protect the environment.
 
If you are looking for Hallowe'en entertainment in Prestonpans, you might be interested in a family event being held at The Goth on Sunday 28th October 2012 from 2:00pm, until 5:00pm, featuring the Prestonpans Mummers performing their Galoshin play in pantomine style, as well as Halloween storytelling, music and song.

Whatever you choose to do this Hallowe'en, have fun, and please spare a thought for the children being exploited* in the cocoa industry.

* 12,000 of the 200,000 children working in Côte d'Ivoire, the world's biggest producer of cocoa, may be victims of trafficking or slavery.

Sunday, 27 May 2012

Results of Preston Lodge's audit of local organisations

We are grateful to the S1 pupils of Preston Lodge for carrying out an audit of support for Fairtrade in Prestonpans.  The results make interesting reading:


Business
Q1 (for shops)
Do you sell 4 or more Fairtrade products?
Q2 (for other businesses) Do you use Fairtrade products?
Q3 Would you like to join the steering group?
Q4 Would you like more info on Fairtrade?
Harlawhill Day Centre
_______
yes – coffee, tea
yes
yes
McKinnon Forbes (solicitors)
_______
Yes – teabags, handwash
no
no
Greggs


no
_______
no
no
Halls newsagents
Yes – Dairy Milk chocolate and Dairy Milk Buttons, fruit juice, muesli bars


_______


yes


yes
Esprit Leisurewear & Trophies
no
no
no
yes
Montgomery Opticians
________
Yes – coffee and tea
no
no
The Filling Station


no
________
no
no
Scotmid
Yes – wine, chocolate, fruit, fruit juice, nuts etc

_________
no
no
Scotmid Pharmacy
Yes – toilet rolls, paper towels, handwash, cotton wool

________
no
no
Aldhammer House – council offices

________
no
no
yes
Preston Insurance Associates
________
no
no
no
Baynes (bakers)


no
________
no
no
Xperteez


no
no
no
no
Prestonpans Labour Club
________
yes – coffee, tea, fruit juice, biscuits etc
no
No
Michaels (barber)
________

no
yes
yes

Thank you S1, and thank you to the organisations for taking the time to respond.