Fairtrade Adur started in 2005 with a meeting at Adur Civic Centre (no longer there!)
Our history includes three visits from Fairtrade producers during Fairtrade Fortnight events, stalls at local markets/fairs and at International Neighbour events in Shoreham. Our group has had support from Adur District Council, has worked with churches and schools in the Adur area, and we have approached local businesses but have not been able to engage a flagship employer which has hampered our effort to become a registered Fairtrade District; we have involved a number of shops, and have given talks to organisations; we also took part in a local business breakfast, hosted by Shoreham Academy. Our group has become depleted over the years, such that there are only three left and needs reinvigorating.
Image 1: Casildo and Brenda Collard, Chair of Adur District Council
In 2007 we were visited by Casildo Quipe, a Brazil nut producer from Bolivia. As Boliviia is a landlocked country Casildo had never seen the sea, so as soon he arrived he asked if he could go the sea, so we went and stood on a windswept and stormy Shoreham Beach. Casildo told us about growing Brazil nuts; one has to be careful not to stand under the trees as the nuts grow in big hard cases and falling from a considerable height could cause serious damage. At the end of his talk Casildo said he would go back to his people and tell them ‘That there are people on the other side of the world who care about them’
Image 2: Oumarou and Robin
Oumarou Gadjere a Cotton grower Cameroon came to talk to us in 2009. We were meeting in the Methodist Church in Shoreham, so he took advantage to ask us to pray for the return of his cattle which had been stolen! Oumarou Gadjere is a member of the Heri Fairtrade Coop and is their elected representative to the Cameroon Cotton Producers’ Organisation (OPCC) Executive Board. The OPCC is a national organisation owned and run by 1,800 local cotton cooperatives. As a result members and their communities now benefit from a range of projects that are funded by the Fairtrade premium and agreed democratically by the whole group. In 2005/06 this included seven health centres, 12 classrooms, nine cereal stores, nine ginning machines, 19 water supply projects and two rural electrification programmes.
Illustration 6: Henry Matenda
2013 Henry Matenda, a Fairtrade sugar cane producer from Malawi, came to West Susses and visited two schools in the Adur area; he told the children and adults about his job and how the money he receives as a Fairtrade farmer has supported his community. The Fairtrade premium has allowed the village to choose to bring electricity to the community, enabled them to buy a tractor to help their work and build a school for their children to attend.