Saturday, 19 December 2009

Fairtrade Christmas Fair

Golly, it was cold!

We were in the Buttermarket - and the mulled apple juice went really well! Most of it was produced locally, too - some of it at the community juicing session a little while ago up Cusop Dingle. We had to dash out in the afternoon for extra supplies from the Co-op, though! We had mince pies as well, and all the mistletoe from Jo and Noel's tree up in Brilley sold.
Love Zimbabwe were there again with pottery and beaded little sculptures, and Martha spent a lot of time huddled over the little electric fire Jo and Noel brought with them. Islay spent some time there, as well, lying on her blanket, but when she started shivering I took her home.
The children from Hay School shared a table with the children from Ffynnon Gynnedd, Hay selling Fairtrade bags they'd decorated and Ffynnon Gynnedd selling handmade fudge - which was delicious, and beautifully packaged in cellophane as well. It sold out quite quickly.
The Hay children came with their headmistress, who is also the mayor, Fiona Howard, who opened the Fair with a short speech.
There were wooden toys, African jewellery and beaded work from Zimele (a Zulu group) and African Princess from Zimbabwe, woolly hats from the Andes, and socks - and Athene was roasting chestnuts over a little charcoal stove from India. There were organic teas from Nepal, packed in little silk bags, and rugs. Jump4Timbuktu were there with jewellery and Christmas trees. Herbfarmacy had a stall, to cover the local angle, and they were also sending people down to their nice warm shop to browse. It isn't open properly yet, but they do have a rather lovely stained glass exhibition in it at the moment.
Bagage were there with recycled bags of all sorts.
We were going to have carol singing in the morning, but Fiona Howard couldn't round up enough children, as they've broken up for the holidays now. What we did have were the wonderful Cwmbach Quire, playing carols and other songs as a small brass band. They played for quite a long time, considering that they were going on to the Globe that evening to play again (in the warm, this time - they appreciated the mulled apple juice, too).

So, despite the cold, we all had quite a good time, and some people are already looking forward to next year!

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Meeting and Social Evening

Or "When we get together, we know how to party!"

The main object of the evening was a shared meal up at Brilley (a small village not far outside Hay). Everyone brought something yummy - a choice of salads and quiches, and figgy pudding with toffee sauce for afters, as well as some rather good chocolaty things. All that and good conversation.

There was a serious point to the meeting, too, though, as the posters and leaflets to publicise the Christmas Fair have arrived (not quite as ordered, but usable) and we needed to get together to hand them out so they can be distributed.
After the success of last year's Fair, we've given ourselves quite a tough act to follow, but we think we can do it!
Several stalls from last year are returning - Athene from The Great English Outdoors, Jump4Timbuktu, Love Zimbabwe, Bagage, Nepal Bazaar, Herb Farmacy and Zimele - and new arrivals are Comolongmo from Nepal.
If it's anything like last year, it should be great fun - and Hay School and Fynnon Gynnedd School are coming along too, to sing carols, and sell Fairtrade bags and home made fairtrade fudge.

The Xmas Fairtrade Fair is on Saturday 19th December in the Buttermarket, Hay from 10am to 5pm.

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

We Have Fairtrade Status!

Yay for us!
We just got the news that Fairtrade status has been approved for Hay until 2011.
Here's what the Fairtrade Foundation had to say at the end of the report:

"Final comment:
Congratulations on maintaining Fairtrade Town Status for Hay on Wye and for the outstanding work you have achieved over the past year. It has been a pleasure to hear about all the fantastic events that have been organised and to see support develop and spread. We would like to thank everyone that has been involved in ensuring that the campaign continues to go from strength to strength. It is because of campaigns such as this that Fairtrade continues to grow, bringing more benefits to more communities in developing countries and encouraging businesses big and small to put people back at the heart of the transaction.

Your next renewal will be due in two years (November 2011) and please ensure that your update includes everything that has occurred since July 2009 when this application was submitted. Our apologies for the time it has taken to process this application and for the panel to do justice to all the hard work that has obviously been dedicated to taking Fairtrade forward in Hay on Wye

We look forward to hearing more when the next renewal is submitted and please do not hesitate to contact us in the meantime should you require any additional support, ideas or assistance. Good luck with all your future plans! "

We're all very happy!

Bruce Crowther

Bruce Crowther,founder of the first Fair Trade town,in Garstang Lancashire, will be speaking at the Hay Festival winter weekend...not to be missed. 10a.m Sunday, December 6th at the Community Centre.

Tuesday, 17 November 2009


Welcome to the Official Site of Hay-on-Wye's Fairtrade Group.
We are now in our second year of official Fairtrade status (which is to say, we're waiting to hear from the adjudicators at the Fairtrade Foundation).

So, what's this Fairtrade thing all about?

The Fairtrade Mark is an independent consumer label which appears on products as an independent guarentee that disadvantaged producers in the developing world are getting a better deal.
They pay a price to producers that covers the costs of sustainable living and production.
They pay a premium that producers can invest in development.
They make partial advance payments when requested by producers.
They sign contracts that allow for long term planning and sustainable production practices.

The criteria for Fairtrade Towns is as follows:
The local council must pass a resolution supporting Fairtrade, and serve Fairtrade coffee and tea at its meetings and in offices and canteens.
A range of Fairtrade products must be readily available in the area's shops and served in local cafes and catering establishments (targets are set in relation to population - for Hay this means one of each).
Fairtrade products must be used by a number of local work places (estate agents, hairdressers etc.) and community organisations (churches, schools, etc.).
Media coverage and popular support for the campaign must be attracted.
A local Fairtrade steering group must be convened to ensure continued commitment to Fairtrade status (that's us!)

Why is is good for Hay?
No Publicity is Bad Publicity! The Fairtrade status helps to promote Hay as a small town with an outward vision and a vision for a more sustainable future.
It helps promote Hay as a caring community - somewhere worth visiting (and not just when the Festival is on!). Although the Festival is getting greener by the year.

We put on events throughout the year - coming up is our Christmas Fair on Saturday 19th December in the Buttermarket. It was wonderfully successful last year and we hope this year will be as good!
The big occasion in the calendar is Fairtrade Fortnight, a national event at the end of February, and we have some good ideas for that too.
We also have a Directory of all the shops and businesses that sell or use Fairtrade products.

In addition to the Fairtrade products, we support local produce. We can't grow bananas or coffee here in Wales, but there are plenty of local farmers who need and deserve our support.