Show Me The Money! ~ Fairtrade and Technical Money

Pound: shared interest and fair tradePound: shared interest and fair tradePOUND: FAIR TRADE, JUST CHANGE AND SHARED INTEREST
Table leaders were Ed Butcher of the Fair Trade Foundation, Sally Reith of Shared Interest and Lara Gratrix and Tricia Zipfel of Just Change.

Just Change Tea is sold locally (by Arsenal Food and Wine on the corner of Blackstock and Ambler Roads) – providing a direct relationship with a village in India. We also discussed whether it was equally good to buy Fair Trade products from the chain grocers as it is to buy from independent local shops. We decided that whilst it is probably equally good for the producers of Fair Trade goods (as they get the Fair Trade premium to help develop their communities), it is not equally good for Finsbury Park as we can keep money in our local economy by supporting local traders (see also the discussion on the Yen table).

The Shared Interest Foundation is an ethical investment co-operative. They lend money to fair trade businesses in the developing world. Their role in the fair trade movement is crucial, but they couldn't do it without their supporters, so they need people to invest with them – they are, of course, regulated and safe as any investment – and in the current climate of low interest we could all do it at no risk to ourselves.

For more information:

Hugh Barnard was the table leader for this discussion. They talked about

  • types of money, government fiat, commodity money, mutual social credit [LETS], local currencies, debt-created money
  • governance of money systems, for example central banks don't give democratic governance
  • interest: positive and negative interest
  • experiments and systems in other areas/TT, Lewis and Totnes pound, for example
  • parity and convertibility against national currencies
  • the current financial system and it's implications for transition
  • designing systems that benefit a locality or area

Terra: Technical MoneyTerra: Technical Money