There was a meeting at The Swan on Monday night, where the Fairtrade group planned for the year ahead.
But first, there was a bit of crowing!
The Fairtrade Wine Tasting that we organised for Fairtrade Fortnight was a resounding success! The only two criticisms we received were that the chaps from the Co-op, lovely though they were, were not wine experts, so could only really read out the tasting notes, and also it was sometimes hard to hear them (but that was possibly because everyone was having such a good time and chatting so loudly!)
We are looking into doing it again, possibly with Tanners, the wine merchants in Hereford, and fairly close to Christmas when people's minds will be on which wines they want to choose for the festivities.
We also managed to put another £200 into Shared Interest, which makes loans to Fairtrade businesses.
The group in Egypt which one of our committee is involved with have made some iPad bags and picture books for us to sell when we are doing stalls. They do a lot of patchwork with recycled cloth - the iPad bag is made from old ties. At the moment they are looking into the possibility of gaining Fairtrade accreditation for themselves, which would mean it would be possible for them to have loans from Shared Interest, and would make it easier for them to market their products (they do very good oven gloves - I have a pair). They have also been commissioned to make a Fairtrade banner for us.
On May 18th and 19th the Smallholders Fair will be held at the Royal Welsh Showground, and there will be a Fairtrade stand there, which may be staffed partly by members of Fairtrade Hay.
During Hay Festival, at the end of May, the Fairtrade notice board will be on display at Hay Church - in fact, it is there now, as a permanent feature, though it was in the Library for Fairtrade Fortnight.
On June 23rd, Jo Eliot and her husband Noel Kingsbury will be opening their garden again as part of the Open Gardens scheme. This was very successful last year (and they do have a very beautiful garden). There will also be teas and cake.
On 28th and 29th September there will be an event at Hayfield Community Gardens called Piece by Peace (or possibly that should be the other way round). The whole thing is based on the community pot firing sessions that happen in Timbuktu. People gather around kilns to fire their pots, share food and music and storytelling, and generally have a good time. Two Towns One World had the idea to do something similar in Hay, so there will be workshops ahead of time for people to go along and create a pot to be fired. They are even going to ask some of the authors who come to Hay Festival this year to get involved, and make a pot that can be auctioned for charity. The potters of Brook Street Pottery in Hay are involved in organising this - they actually have a kiln at the back of the shop, and if the door onto Chancery Lane is open, you can see it in use as you pass by.
They will be creating a song about Hay which will be sent to Timbutktu, and there will be a project with local schools looking at food from field to plate, showing children the seeds going into the ground, the flour being ground at Talgarth Mill locally, and the bread being baked in local baker Alex Gooch's ovens.
As part of the festivities, Fairtrade Hay will be running their Community Picnic, with co-operative games, an art walk, sticky sticks (make a model by pushing the sticks together), and face painting, so there will be masses of things to see and do.
We are even thinking ahead far enough to the next Christmas Fair - you have to book the Buttermarket this far in advance! This year it will be held on the 7th December.