Celebrating Myakka’s 1st Anniversary in Guildford

26 – 28 February 2016

Guest Blog by Myakka 3Georgie Hopkins, director of Myakka

It’s hard to believe, but we’re coming up to our shop’s first anniversary on Guildford high street.

It’s been a fabulous year and we’ve loved getting to know our customers so as a thank you we have a special weekend promotion lined up exclusively for Guildford: from Friday 26th to Sunday 28th February, there is a 20% discount on anything bought in the shop over that weekend.  And come along at midday on Saturday 27th February to enjoy some birthday cake, with special guest Anne Milton, MP for Guildford and a great supporter of local independent shops and businesses.

It’s always a learning curve to judge what is going to be popular and sell well, but I hope that we have now got the mix of furniture, home accessories and gifts pretty well spot on.  As a fair trade business, our anniversary is also quite pertinent timing with Fairtrade Fortnight starting next Monday. Hopefully the issues surrounding trading fairly and ethically will be topical and put in the spotlight.  And, ultimately, it’s worth remembering the impact that it has on communities across the world.

Myakka works primarily with small fair trade artisan producers in India, Vietnam and Thailand, and we visit them as often as we can.  We manage a trip to our main Indian supplier in Jodhpur twice a year.  It is a family run business with a workforce of over 150 skilled artisans, and we have worked together for over 14 years.  Our long-standing relationship with them has enabled both businesses to enjoy substantial growth benefitting sub-contractors, employees and the local community in line with fair trade principles.

We are also celebrating our sixth year of working alongside SKSN, a school for physically challenged children from rural areas of Rajasthan in India, who ordinarily wouldn’t have access to education. SKSN is reliant on companies like Myakka for trade support and annual donations which are used for essential clothing and medicines for the students. Again, we try to visit the school as frequently as we can and it is truly uplifting to see how young lives are turned around.

So, thank you for your continued support, which in turn enables us to help support all these communities. We look forward to seeing you at Myakka at some point over our anniversary weekend.

196 High Street, Guildford, GU1 3HZ or visit www.myakka.co.uk for further information.

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We are delighted to announce that the Fairtrade Foundation has awarded Surrey Fairtrade County status.

The following press release is being sent to the press.

Surrey achieves Fairtrade County status

Surrey has been awarded Fairtrade County status by the Fairtrade Foundation following several years of campaigning and activism by local Fairtrade supporters.

In November 2009 existing Fairtrade Towns groups from around Surrey came together to form a campaign to try and do for Surrey what each had done in their own towns and boroughs. A launch event was held in September 2010 which culminated with a gathering at Surrey University. The primary purpose has been to provide new opportunities to promote Fairtrade to the public and business community, and encourage a wider audience to consider Fairtrade when making purchasing and procurement decisions.

Launch event for Surrey Fairtrade campaign, held at Surrey University

Fairtrade Surrey launch event






By the start of 2014 there were only two criteria left to be addressed; the passing of a resolution by Surrey County Council in support of Fairtrade and the support of a flagship employer.  A Motion proposed by Councillor Robert Evans to Surrey County Council committing SCC to support Fairtrade was passed in May 2014 (See here for wording of the resolution http://mycouncil.surreycc.gov.uk/mgAi.aspx?ID=6588 ). On hearing that Surrey has now been granted Fairtrade County status Councillor Evans said “We see so many pictures from around the world, of people in desperate conditions and we know we can’t do much to help. But by supporting Fairtrade we’re making a positive commitment that we know will – bit by bit – help improve the lives of some of the poorest people on the planet”.

The other outstanding requirement, the need for a supportive employer in the County, was met when WWF-UK moved to Woking in late 2013 and, after partnering successfully with the Woking Fairtrade group for several events, agreed to be the Flagship Employer. Tess Manser, a spokesperson from WWF-UK said “WWF-UK is proud to be working with Woking Fairtrade – we wholeheartedly support the work they do. When people are treated and paid fairly for their work and produce, they are more likely to value their environment and help it to thrive. This aligns with WWF’s global mission: to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature.

Speaking for Surrey Fairtrade, Becca Rowland, said that campaigners are delighted to have reached this milestone. “Many people have worked hard to make this happen. There is growing evidence that sales of Fairtrade products make a positive impact for farmers and workers in poorer countries. Just as farmers here need to be treated fairly, so do the farmers who produce much of our food overseas and one day, I hope, Fairtrade will be the norm, not the exception”.

Faith Axten, also involved with Fairtrade Surrey and the coordinator of the Addlestone Fairtrade Town group, is encouraging as many people to get involved with Fairtrade Fortnight in 2016 as possible. “We’ll be having a celebration event for achieving Fairtrade County status next Fairtrade Fortnight. We’ll also be encouraging everyone to sit down for breakfast and stand up for farmers! Fairtrade Fortnight (29 February – 13 March 2016) will be all about breakfasts. Before you’ve finished eating breakfast in the morning you’ve depended on more than half the world if you’re drinking coffee form Kenya, bananas from Colombia, cocoa from the Ivory Coast, tea from India, sugar from Malawi and juice from Brazilian oranges. We’d love as many people as possible across Surrey to organise breakfast with their friends, their school, their community group or their work colleagues and try and make it a Fairtrade breakfast”.

For more information on Fairtrade and Fairtrade Fortnight 2016 go to www.fairtrade.org.uk.

Note to Editors:

There are 10 Fairtrade Towns and Villages in Surrey – Addlestone, Cranleigh, Dorking, Godalming, Guildford, Haslemere, Leatherhead, Lingfield and Dormansland, Tatsfield, Woking.

What is a Fairtrade County?

There are five criteria required to become a Fairtrade Town:

  1. The local council passes a resolution supporting Fairtrade, and agrees to serve Fairtrade products (for example, in meetings, offices and canteens);
  2. A range of (at least two) Fairtrade products are readily available in the area’s retail outlets (shops, supermarkets, newsagents, petrol stations) and served in local catering outlets (cafés, restaurants, pubs);
  3. Local workplaces and community organisations (places of worship, schools, universities, colleges etc.) support Fairtrade and use Fairtrade products whenever possible. Populations over 100,000 also need a ‘flagship’ employer;
  4. Through media coverage and events, raises awareness and understanding of Fairtrade across the wider community; and
  5. A Fairtrade steering group is convened to ensure the Fairtrade Town campaign continues to develop and gain new support.

The goals for a Fairtrade County are very similar to those for a Fairtrade Town, City or Borough. The county campaign can choose how best to meet Goals 2 and 3 – they can be met if more than half the population of the county live in an area which has already achieved Fairtrade status. Goals 1, 4 and 5 must be met in the usual way and a Fairtrade County campaign needs a distinct flagship employer.


Becca Rowland, Network Coordinator, Surrey Fairtrade 07909114664

Faith Axten, Secretary, Surrey Fairtrade 07764170591

Website www.surreyfairtrade.org.uk


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Myakka Awarded top ethical rating


Myakka Celebrate Top Ethical Ranking copy

Earlier this year we were pleased to welcome Myakka Furniture to Surrey. They have a shop in the centre of Guildford and although they are not selling products with the Fairtrade Mark – there isn’t one for the type of products they sell – we know they trade fairly. 

So, it’s great to be hear that Myakka were recently awarded a perfect score of 100/100 in the Good Shopping Guide, compiled by the Ethical Company Organisation (ECO).

The Guide is the world’s leading reference book on how to shop with confidence and a clear conscience, covering everything from banks to butter, washing machines to jeans. The ECO indexes each company based on a number of factors including: impact on the environment, human rights and animal rights. The aim is to encourage companies and businesses to uphold high ethical standards by both highlighting the good practices whilst also underlining the more negative practices that need to change.  

If you haven’t already visited their shop maybe it’s time to pop in and see what they have n store for you!

Here’s where to find them. https://www.myakka.co.uk/help/guildford_shop


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Haslemere Fairtrade Bake Off

Report from Fiona Short – Haslemere Fairtrade

July 2015

Haslemere bake off 1

Cakes being baked by talented bakers. A suave judge called Paul passing judgement on them in a tent assisted by a high profile lady celebrity. Sound familiar?

In July the Wave, an annual community event organised by the churches in Haslemere, held a Fairtrade Bake Off that attracted over fifty cakes from keen bakers from all over the area. The aim was to raise the profile of Fairtrade and Fairtrade ingredients ranging from Fairtrade sugar to Fairtrade cocoa and ensure people continue to keep this important initiative in mind when shopping. Haslemere has been a Fairtrade town since 2007 and the town council has always been a keen supporter of Fairtrade, ensuring that Fairtrade goods are used at Council events.

Haslemere bake off 2

In the 8 years since Haslemere achieved it’s status as a Fairtrade town, many more of the big manufacturers such as Cadbury and Mars have switched their raw materials to Fairtrade ingredien

ts, meaning that farmers in poor countries in Africa and South America get paid a better wage and a fair reward for the tea, coffee and cocoa that they produce.own’s Fairtrade status up for renewal, this was an ideal opportunity to ensure that townsfolk are still looking out for these goods when they do their shopping and that local shops are stocking Fairtrade products.With the t

The event attracted a large crowd to watch the cakes being judged and the Mayor of Haslemere, Melanie Odell took centre stage, along with local chef, Paul McAllister, to judge the cakes. They personally tasted every cake and whittled the entries down into the winners which were eve

ntually eaten by the large crowd that had assembled. Prizes were donated by the Royal School’s Fairtrade team, Tesco and also the fantastic team of Fairtrade Volunteers.

Haslemere bake off 3

In addition a fabulous talk and Fairtrade chocolate tasting – which everyone could partici

charity which aims to increase understanding of Fairtrade. Tom highlighted the issues facing the producers and their communities and emphasised that the actions consumers take can make a difference to others and make the world a better place.pate in – was provided by Tom Allen from Trading Visions, a Fairtrade educational

Finally, Quiz Master Elliot Ambrose tested the crowd on their Fairtrade knowledge with his fun and interactive quizzes – he was outwitted by their detailed knowledge and consoled himself with lots of cake. A big thank you again to the marvellous Fairtrade team on the night who had worked so hard to ensure the evening went smoothly.

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Is your school coming to the Surrey Fairtrade Schools Conference?

Surrey Fairtrade Schools Conference
Monday 29th June
St Columba’s House, 
Maybury Hill, Woking, Surrey GU22 8AB

Less than a mile from Woking train station.

The Surrey Fairtrade Schools Conference features two young people from cocoa growing communities in Ghana. Esther and Samuel, both aged 14, are traveling from their villages in Ghana and coming all the way to the UK to talk to young people here about how Fairtrade makes a difference to their lives.

Esther Awusi from Ghana Esther

The Fairtrade Schools Conference is a collaboration between  Trading Visions and the Fairtrade Foundation schools team.

The conference takes place in the lovely setting of St Columba’s House, and combines talks, games and workshops where you’ll learn lots of new things about Fairtrade and the people who prodcue some of the things we buy. During the day you’ll have a chance to meet Esther and Samuel, learn about Fairtrade, and probably have some fun with chocolate. It promises to be an exciting day!

All schools are welcome. Up to 2 adults and 8 children from each school. Sixth formers are free to come on their own if they have permission from their school.

Book tickets for students and teachers from your school here


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