Garstang Fairtrade Steering Group Constitution
Since Garstang became the world’s first Fairtrade Town in April 2000, new Fairtrade Towns, Cities, Villages, Zones and even Universities and Church Districts are being declared across the U.K. This Flagship status has also led to media, trade and tourist interest locally, nationally and internationally. Although the concept of a Fairtrade Town was conceived in Garstang, Fairtrade Town status is now monitored and conferred by the Fairtrade Foundation. This is the UK member of Fairtrade Labelling Organisations International (FLO), which sets Fairtrade standards and certifies Fairtrade producers.
The Foundation certifies and promotes Fairtrade in the UK. Its role is to license, monitor and audit use of the FAIRTRADE Mark by UK companies. It also promotes and facilitates the development and marketing of FAIRTRADE products by UK manufacturers and retailers and promotes the concept of Fairtrade to UK consumers in order to increase sales of FAIRTRADE products and increase returns to registered producer groups.
The FAIRTRADE Mark is the UK’s only independent certification label that guarantees that producers in the developing world receive a fair price that covers the costs of production and provides an extra payment to be invested in community development.
A key element of the Fairtrade campaign is to make connections between consumers of products carrying the FAIRTRADE Mark and the producers of those products.
Individuals and organizations in and around Garstang demonstrate their support for the Fairtrade campaign in many ways, including signing pledges of support, public announcements in the local press, organizing or sponsoring events, displays and competitions, and using or retailing FAIRTRADE goods. These activities have contributed directly towards increasing the market share of FAIRTRADE goods and raising awareness of the issues that led to the creation of the FAIRTRADE Mark in the first place.
As Garstang lies at the heart of an area with strong farming roots, the Fairtrade campaign in Garstang has always emphasized how the problems created for farmers in the U.K., by the operation of the modern trade system, are in many ways similar to those faced by small farmers and producers in the developing world. For this reason campaigners have sought common cause with local farmers and wherever possible and appropriate, have promoted local produce in tandem with Fairtrade.
Furthermore, the innovative way in which a volunteer group with minimal resources and no public funding has achieved a highly acclaimed campaign, inspiring others with its global theme, enhances the area’s reputation. The community benefits from this enhanced reputation in a variety of ways, and particularly through:
stimulation of tourism (many UK and international visitors come out of their way to visit Garstang)
increases in trade (direct effects in sales of FAIRTRADE products by local retailers and catering establishments, but also indirect effects associated with increased numbers visiting the town).
Several local businesses have already seized upon the unique marketing opportunities provided by the Garstang’s status as the World’s First Fairtrade Town.
Through Local Agenda 21, Central and Local Government are committed to supporting and promoting sustainability via projects such as the Fairtrade campaign. Wyre Borough Council is preparing to announce its proposals to provide resources and finance for the campaign in Garstang.
A list of local schools, churches, businesses and other organizations that are involved with the Fairtrade campaign in Garstang is available at: www.garstangfairtrade.org.uk
Additional information is available from the Discovery Centre, High Street, Garstang (open daily 11am-3pm), the Mustard Seed, Park Hill Road, Garstang (limited opening), or at: www.fairtrade.org.uk , www.tradejusticemovement.org.uk , www.co-op.co.uk
2. AIMS AND OBJECTIVES
The Fairtrade Foundation has set five Goals for Towns, Cities or Zones to gain Fairtrade Status.
Goal Five requires the establishment of a Fairtrade Steering Group to ensure continued commitment to Fairtrade status. This is the central reason for the existence of the Garstang Fairtrade Steering Group.
Responsibilities of the Group (as stated in the Fairtrade Foundation Goals) include:
To maintain Garstang’s status as a Fairtrade Town by ensuring that all five Goals are constantly met and where possible exceeded and undertaking an annual assessment to monitor whether the Town is continuing to meet the Goals
Organization of special events for Fairtrade Fortnight in March every year
Organization of an educational event to raise awareness of trade issues amongst young people.
The Garstang Fairtrade Steering Group has developed additional aims:
To support the local community in the area in promoting the Fairtrade campaign and maximising the benefits of the Town’s World-leading status as a Fairtrade Town
To seek common cause with local producers and to share with consumers the understanding that the problems engendered by current international trade practices affect both farmers in the UK and Producers in developing countries.
To support neighbouring areas and Local Authorities in their campaigns to establish new Fairtrade Zones (Local Authorities are obliged under Local Agenda 21 to promote and support sustainability initiatives such as the Fairtrade campaign)
To support and maintain the link made between Garstang and its twin town of New Koforidua.
2.1. ACHIEVING AIMS AND OBJECTIVES
Activities carried out or assisted by the Group can be divided into Recurrent Activities that may be repeated every year or other appropriate interval, and Current Activities which may cease when a particular aim has been achieved. These are not mutually exclusive divisions.
2.1.1. RECURRENT ACTIVITIES
Specific Activities carried on or assisted by the group include:
Ongoing events including competitions, participation in the Whit Parade and Art Festival, parties, and sale of advertising materials such as car stickers and retailer stickers, to maintain and increase public awareness of and participation in Fairtrade
Maintaining a strong relationship with local press and other media to ensure that the campaign retains a high profile
Developing relationships with the New Koforidua cocoa producing Community in Ghana and fostering links between producers here and in Ghana
using requirements of the National Curriculum in Personal, Social and Health Education and Continuing Educational Development to raise awareness and interest amongst schoolchildren
Promotion of local produce at Fairtrade campaign events and the interests of local producers
Check and clean the Town Boundary signs and Fairtrade Town plaque
Re-assess targets and renew/discard at end of year
2.1.2. CURRENT ACTIVITIES
Development of an Annual Award for the best Fairtrade promotion by local premises
Schools work pack which can be updated
Seeking to obtain as much assistance as possible from charitable or public bodies
Supporting initiatives to promote the campaign among local religious communities
Update the Garstang Fairtrade Directory
Enlist new FAIRTRADE retailers and caterers in Garstang
Instigate the development of a Garstang and District Fairtrade Zone
Increase Farmer involvement with the campaign, probably through contacts with Myerscough College of Agriculture, students, young farmers, and retired farmers and via the farming press
Sell Garstang Fairtrade Town car stickers and FAIRTRADE products available here shop stickers
Foster links between Garstang High School and the State Experimental Basic School in Kumasi
Encourage Myerscough College to become a Fairtrade College and foster its link with Kwadaso College outside Kumasi.
Feature Ghanaian culture in the summer Arts Festival
3. HOW THE GROUP SHALL BE RUN
The Group will have normal meetings at least every 3 months and an Annual General Meeting (AGM).
The date of the AGM shall be established by the committee and shall be no more than18 months from the inception of the group or from the last AGM.
21 days notice of the date of the AGM shall be given to all members.
The Group should comprise representatives from all areas of the Town’s life and activities, including the Local Authority, Fairtrade campaigners, Schools, Churches, Businesses and other organizations. Any resident of Garstang and District will be made welcome as a Member, and will undertake to support and follow the aims and terms of this Constitution. A Quorum shall be three Members, who must have attended at least one previous meeting and one of whom must be an Elected Officer.
3.3. ELECTED OFFICERS
The Garstang Fairtrade Steering Group will be governed by a group of Elected Officers:
The Elected Officers will be the Chair, the Secretary, the Treasurer and the Bank Account Signatories
These Officers shall be elected by the Members at the Annual General Meeting
They will nominally serve for two years, after which they will need to stand for re-election
They are accountable to the other Group Members, to the Auditor, and to the Provider of the Bank Account
3.4. FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT
Funds shall be raised through membership subscription, donations and fund raising activities.
Grants may be applied for through funding bodies as deemed necessary by the committee from time to time.
The Garstang Fairtrade Steering Group maintains a Current Account with the Co-operative Bank. The Treasurer holds a list of Account Signatories. New Account Signatories may be elected at the Annual General Meeting. The Bank must be notified in writing when an Account Signatory relinquishes the position.
The Treasurer will provide an annual statement of accounts at the Annual General Meeting.
Interim financial reports may be made at normal meetings by the Treasurer
Other instruments of financial management may be added to the Constitution by agreement at an Annual General Meeting
3.5. WINDING UP
In the event of the Garstang Fairtrade Steering Group closing down, any cash in the current account will be donated to the Fairtrade Foundation. Other assets may be sold (proceeds to Fairtrade Foundation), donated or re-distributed as appropriate. The decision to wind up will be made at a meeting comprising a quorum, at least one of whom is an Account Signatory. All Account Signatories will need to be notified and the Account Provider will need to be notified in writing of the closing of the account.