"Bolivar coffee in 250g packets is a practical
example of solidarity"
Ex NUPE activist Norman Lockhart is trying to arrange for
the importation of coffee from Venezuela as a means of supporting
producers there but more importantly to raise awareness about
the social and economic revolution underway in many Latin American
Norman is hoping union branches will underwrite a small potion
of the cost of the shipment by agreeing to purchase a number
of packets of coffee, these would be for your branch to consume,
sell or pass on to members.
At a cost of £100 for 40/50 bags this will hopefully be within
the reach of most branches. The International Committee would
encourage branches to engage with this project. Contact Norman
solidarity through trade
Venezuela in the 21st century now plays the same role as Sandinista
Nicaragua did in 80s Tory Britain. It is an example to the poor
and oppressed of the world that it is possible to try to organise
for a more just and equitable society.
Bolivar coffee in 250g packets is a practical
example of solidarity that can be used as a focus for local
discussions. It will also be tasty and enjoyable.
I am arranging for a quarter ton [250Kg] of green coffee beans
to be imported, roasted, ground, packed and labelled for distribution
in Scotland. The Leith based workers co-op, Equal Exchange,
is giving advice and help based on years of related commercial
This project will need an overall budget of approximately £2000.
Your organisation can play an important role in helping provide
an alternative to reluctant banks and at the same time participate
in practical solidarity that will benefit your group's funds.
Organisations will make loans available to solidarity through
trade in multiples of £100 which will be repaid in bags
of roast and ground coffee from Venezuelan co-operatives and
small farms. At present US$ exchange rates and coffee prices
this will be approximately 40 to 50 250g bags for each £100.
Your group will then be responsible for selling or distributing
this to members, friends, families etc.
Then it will collect in the money from these sales for their
own group which will be approximately 15-20% more than your
group's original loan.
The practical way of thinking about this is as advance purchase
by the group of more than £100 coffee.
Yours fraternally and in solidarity,
Beyond Fair Trade
Fair Trade and Organic products have been increasingly popular
as well as trying to get a more just settlement for small farms
and co-ops etc. While solidarity through trade will not have
Faitr Trade or Organic certification it will have those aims
on its agenda.
Solidarity through trade will make political solidarity its
first objective. Other certification will not be a condition
but aiming to encourage solutions to it in a hostile imperialist
economy will be part of the task.
Who am I?
As NUPE shop steward I was also convenor of first JSSC in Glasgow
Royal Infirmary with over 13 unions represented in 1982.
I worked for two years as a nurse in Sandinista Nicaragua for
Scottish Medical Aid for Nicaragua
As rig medic in N Sea I helped establish OILC as union for
offshore oil workers.