Arnside

Rachel Dutfield
email: jim.dutfield@talk21.com
Delphine Gratrix
email: delph_55@yahoo.com
Local Information

Arnside is a coastal village on the shores of Morecambe Bay and is situated in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The area is characterised by a landscape of low limestone hills and crags and low-lying mosses. Arnside is a popular attraction with day-vistors, walkers and groups. It is one of the stopping points fro Cross-Bay walks and it is one of the stopping points on the Fairtrade Way between Garstang and Keswick - www.fairtradeway.org.uk

Background to Fairtrade

Arnside was granted Fairtrade Status in 2009. The village has an active group promoting Fairtrade to the local community and tourists. Activities include coffee tasting mornings. cheese and wine events, garden parties and raising awareness in local schools and organisations. Local churches , shops, cafes and restaurants have pledged their support with more and more committing to Fairtrade, including local B&Bs. Our local Girl Guides have put on 2 fashion shows in the village to help promote fairtrade cotton and clothing

An audit of all local businesses, shops, cafes and churches etc. has been carried out by the group to enable us to produce literature with relevant information for residents and visitors so they know what Fairtrade products and services are available.

Recent News
Arnside Connect with Malawi

In Fairtrade Fortnight 2012 Francis Chisuse from Malawi visited Arnside. He gave presentations at Arnside and Storth schools and at the Educational Institute. Francis represents 164 small tea farmers in the Msuwadzi Association and works hard to retain their Fairtrade status.

The Fairtrade premium has brought many benefits particularly for education and health. The sum of 450 was raised when Francis visited us in 2012 and this money has been used to grow agroforestry trees which are then planted in the tea plots. This enables the Association to fulfil their environmental obligations and retain Fairtrade status. Mr F White was assigned to undertake the nursery work and the planting of 5000 seedlings.

In February 2013 an additional 200 was raised on our 'Pennies on the Prom campaign'. This was used to give internet access to the local school in Satemwa in order that the children there could communicate with the children from Arnside school. The 2 schools are now linked via the internet. Picture credit:Mr F White in the nursery.

St Lucia

Arnside Fairtrade Group member, Rachel Dutfield has been visiting St Lucia for several years and on her last trip, early in 2011, her visit came shortly after the devastating hurricane which saw the banana industry wiped out

Rachel asked Joe Human if he could put her in touch with a local grower and he was able to arrange for her to visit Conrad James

Conrad was luckier than some banana farmers, where landslides completely wiped out everything, because although his banana plants were damaged and his farm was under 3 ft of water, he was able to get most of his plants back upright.

As a consequence of the hurricane, Conrad knew his crop would not be a full yield so he will be more than 6 months without income. He usually employs 2 people which rises to 7 at busy times but obviously he couldn't do that at the time of Rachel's visit. The Fairtrade premium has been used to help St Lucian farmers and there has been limited support from the government. Conrad's vegetable garden survived and has helped keep his family going. Conrad is one of 150 banana farmers who deal with Waitrose and he is confident he will get his business back with them. We can only wish him well for the future.

Group member returns to St Lucia

Arnside group member, Rachel Dutfield, returned to St Lucia in February 2012 and was able once again to visit a banana farmer. She is pictured with Stephen Best from the Windward Island Farmers'association and Moses Renee a banana farmer at his fam's packing station, where bananas are packed for Sainsburys.

Autumn/Winter News 2013/2014
The last few months have been busy for the group. We held a successful coffee morning in November and members attended the launch of our Fairtrade garden on Arnside's lower promenade at the start of the new year. The garden, which thankfully survived the recent storms, was designed and planted by Ms Lee Fitton, who has chosen plants to withstand the weather and salty air.

Lee supervised the positioning of a special plaque which lets visitors and residents know that the garden has been planted by the local Fairtrade Group. The aim of the garden was to publicise Fairtrade and provide an amenity for the village. Over 100 bulbs were planted with the assistance of the Arnside Youth Group which hopefully will provde an attraction in the spring.