Our BAFTS Annual Conference 2018 was held on 20th and 21st May in London, in Westbourne Grove Church in glorious sunshine. It was very busy from the word go on Sunday, helping attendees with name badges, goody bags, handing out Programmes; welcoming guest stallholders and speakers, and getting stalls set up – over the two days, stalls were on show from BAFTS’ members Koseli Wholesale, AURA QUE, Just Trade Uk Ltd, Lovethatstuff, Red Tribe, Enfair, Traidcraft, Zuza Trading, Where Does It Come From?, St. Nicolas,& Holy Lama Naturals and from guests, former member Achkiy, Shared Interest, Khadi CIC, and Safia Minney MBE, FRSA (Slave to Fashion books). We were delighted with the number of attendees, not only from within our ranks, but friends and businesses interested to see what we were doing as an organisation and how we are moving forward.
Over the two days we listened to Supplier and Shop shorts (10 minutes’ presentations apiece about various member businesses and fair trade principles) from Koseli, Zuza Trading, AURA QUE (see websites above); Gateway World Shop (no website); plus Siesta Crafts, St Nicolas, Lovethatstuff, Holy Lama Naturals and Where Does It Come From? Again, all website links are in the first paragraph.
Our informative and engaging speakers over the two day period, to whom we are most grateful for their time and participation, were Safia Minney (Founder and Former CEO of People Tree and now of Po-Zu shoes) talking on Fair Trade and how it meets many of the 17 SDGs; Sian Conway (Ethical Hour on various social media platforms and engaging with your audience); Laura Cave (Just Trade Uk Ltd) about pricing differentials from various developing countries; and Sabita Banerji (Chair of Oxford Fair Trade Coalition) facilitating a workshop on gender equality in fair trade, using female cocoa farmers in Ghana as a starting point. On Monday, we welcomed Emilie Schultze, Campaigns Officer from Traidcraft Exchange updating us on post-Brexit Trade with developing countries, and their new tea transparency campaign; Jo Bega, CEO of Child Rescue Nepal reporting on their amazing work in Nepal preventing child trafficking and rescuing victims; and Josh Pitts, Co-Owner of Equal Exchange UK on why they had decided to remove the FAIRTRADE Mark from some of their products, and the trading model which they use.
The Monday afternoon concluded with our AGM, including discussions about how BAFTS moves forward in connection with our resolutions and Five-Year Strategic Plan. We were delighted to confirm Laura Cave, Just Trade UK Ltd, as Chair of BAFTS, and to have Marvi Scala (Lost in Samsara) and Martin Mikhail (RISC World Shop) join us on the Board. Martin joins us as new Applications Officer; and we are grateful to both of them for stepping up to take on Board roles.
Overall, we were very pleased to have such a mixture of member, non-members and invited guests or speakers attend this year, and look forward on building on our successes in years to come. In due course, presentations will be shared with members for personal reference use only, alongside Minutes and any other updated AGM documentation.