It is two and a half weeks since the above event and time to reflect on what went so well during the two days of networking, sharing and learning.
Firstly, we had a large number of suppliers exhibiting – about 11 in all, some of whom altered on the second day, but there was ample time for attendees to browse, place orders and have a look at some new member product ranges. The beauty of the RISC building was that it so suited our needs that there was enough space for all exhibitors to show their goods to best effect. To see photographs taken during the event go to
Secondly, the staff at RISC, notably Martin and Silvia, were wonderfully helpful in suggesting where various workshops should go, and how to make the best use of the spaces and rooms available, and were flexible with time allocations, so that we never felt like it was a problem if the running order needed tweeking. They were very good to open the RISC World shop when it would usually have been closed, had volunteers come in for tours of the Rooftop garden, and had Tutu prepare a wonderful Ethiopian meal on the Sunday evening. We even had a chance to write on the “”Fairtrade Wall” in the Global Cafe.
Kathryn (BAFTS’ Marketing & Membership), Martin RISC, Hazel Dobson BAFTS’ Board & Manager Gateway World Shop
Thirdly, the BAFTS’ Board had worked hard to prepare displays and relevant workshops for both shop and supplier members, although a couple of these were cancelled. In fairness, this was more to do with the very engaging speakers we had selected, who attracted a lot of attention and for whom everyone had questions. We had invited Elen Jones, Fair Trade Wales, to speak on widening Fairtrade Town’s Campaigns to Country level, and she was also involved in discussing the proposed Fairtrade Sourcing Programs (FSPs) which are causing a lot of consternation in the UK right now. Dr. Eleanor Fisher from Reading University spoke on small scale beekeeping in Uganda. Cathi Pawson from Zaytoun talked movingly about the daily challenges facing Palestinian families to access and harvest their Olives in traditional ways, and Rudi Dalvai, President of WFTO, informed us about the new WFTO Guarantee System against a backdrop of history about the WFTO itself.
The AGM followed on Monday afternoon and was concluded succinctly, with resolutions being passed on the following:
- To decrease the frequency of renewal form completion from annually to bi-annually (with a short form in alternate years for invoicing purposes)
- To set the subscription rates for 2014-15
- To remove the requirement for supplier members who also sell their own goods via a retail website to pay for membership in two categories
- To remove the requirement for shop members who have more than one shop to pay an additional £10 for each shop
- To add a fee band for members with a turnover of up to £10,000
- To give a 10% reduction (amended to a £10 reduction) in membership fees for members who attended the previous year’s AGM
- To introduce an annual honorarium payment of £500 for Board members performing specific roles: new applications, renewals, Chair and Treasurer
Watch this space for ideas for the 2015 AGM and Conference; we are already thinking ahead!