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									        Annual Report
    Co-operation for
    Sustainable Communities

    Building on the
    skills, creativity and
    enthusiasm of local
    people working to
    support and enhance:

    our community
    the local economy
    our environment

Common Cause Co-operative is a not for profit company limited by guarantee. Registered in Sussex No. 2900270
           Registered office: The Green Room, 20 North Street, Lewes, East Sussex, BN7 2PE
 Organisation, Aims, and Policies
Common Cause Co-operative was established in 1991 in Lewes, East Sussex. It is a not-for-
profit company limited by guarantee. Common Cause aims to promote community
development that is co-operative, supports the local economy and is environmentally
sustainable. Common Cause is committed to acting locally in a global context. It works
with other local and national organisations and is run by its members for the benefit of wider
community and environmental objectives.

                                                                     Our history

     Common Cause has initiated or participated in a number of activities to support
     co-operative, sustainable community development. Since 1991 these included: a
     Local Exchange Trading Scheme (LETS), Caburn Housing Co-operative,
     Furniture Now!, a furniture recycling scheme, Art for Employment, Just Trade, a
     local food co-operative, a directory of local farmers and growers, and Sussex
     Organic Link, a programme linking unemployed people with work experience on
     organic farms.

     In May 1998, Common Cause organised a one-day conference, Sustainable
     Lewes, to gain the views of local people about local sustainable transport,
     housing, food, waste and energy use. Also in 1998, Common Cause set up Lewes
     Farmers Market, which remains a vibrant monthly market, and one of Common
     Cause’s flagship community initiatives.

     A more recent initiative was OATES, Organic Agriculture Training in East
     Sussex, an organic horticulture training programme for unemployed people run in
     2000. OATES was a partnership project with Plumpton College, East Sussex
     County Council and funding from the European Social Fund and SEEDA. A
     second phase of the OATES project in 2001 addressed the needs of sustainable
     farming in the region.

Common Cause’s aims are to:

   support social, economic and environmentally sustainable community development
   support socially equitable access to local resources, training and job opportunities
   support and develop community- based local food economies and interactive links between
    producers and consumers
   promote agricultural development that is sensitive to and enhances the local landscape and
   promote and support social enterprises and initiatives

Common Cause Co-operative Annual Report 2001-2002                                                page 3 of 11
 Review of Activities 2001-2002

Lewes Farmers’ Market
In 1998, Common Cause established the Lewes Farmers’ Market. It was amongst the first
established in this country and has become an inspiration and information resource for other
markets around the country. The first three pilot markets were evaluated and a study was
done to assess whether Farmers’ Markets can improve access to fresh produce for families
on low income.

The market, with between twenty and thirty local producers from Sussex, takes place on the
first Saturday of the month. Priority is given to organic and small-scale producers with high
environmental and animal welfare standards. The market is financially self-sufficient and
any surplus income from stall fees is used to promote the market.

A colourful Farmers’ Market and Local Produce Guide outlines the benefits of buying
locally produced food and provides information about the stallholders. It also includes a map
and guide to the numerous independent food shops in the town that sell items of locally
produced food.
Cookery demonstrations showing how seasonal food can be turned into delicious dishes have
been run by a local grower and catering company, Sow the Seeds. The cookery
demonstration stall and equipment were funded by the Co-op Dividend Fund, enabling
recipe cards to be given away.

Local Food in School Meals

Common Cause is a member of the East Sussex Food and Health Partnership which has been
awarded nearly £1million over three years by the New Opportunities Fund to promote health
through healthy eating in East Sussex. Starting in December 2002, Common Cause will be
working to increase the use of local produce in school meals and other public sector catering.
We will also producing a seasonal recipe booklet for children based on our publication:
Gluts for Tea: a guide to making the most of your vegetable box and a food game based on
the card game “Top Trumps”.

Following the publication of the report Healthy Eating Initiatives and Food Provision in
Primary and Secondary Schools, a review of healthy eating initiatives in the UK with
specific reference to Brighton, Hove and East Sussex, Common Cause is producing a Good
Food Guide which will be sent free to schools in East Sussex, Brighton and Hove. The
Guide was funded by the Healthy School Scheme and was produced with the School Food
Action Group of which Common Cause is an active member.

Common Cause Co-operative Annual Report 2001-2002                                                page 4 of 11
Organic Agriculture Training in East Sussex (OATES)
The second phase of the OATES project was completed in February 2002. The aim of the
project was to evaluate the potential of organic agriculture for sustainable rural development
and to address the needs of organic farming in Sussex and the surrounding counties. It was
funded by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation with additional support from Plumpton College,
Sussex Rural Community Council and the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
(AONB) Unit.

The Foot and Mouth crisis in 2001 meant that many of the activities planned for the early
stages of the project had to be postponed. Common Cause followed the example of other
establishments organising farmer activities and temporarily ceased training sessions for
farmers to avoid any possible contamination. This was a setback for the project since it
should have been a crucial time to make contacts with farmers and develop opportunities for
activities later in the year. Instead we had a flurry of activity after the Summer and extended
the project until February 2002 to enable the project to facilitate farm visits and the
establishment of farmer networks.

The key findings of the project were:

   Regional information and training centres can play an important role in promoting
    sustainable farming, including organic, farmer networking, and co-operative marketing
    and distribution.
   There is a high demand from farmers for on-farm
    support, local advice and information and training for          Two Open Meeting on
    production, processing and marketing.                            Organic Farming
                                                                    Workshops on
   There is an important role for local demonstration               composting and on co-
    farms.                                                           operative marketing
                                                                    Demonstration farm
   Many farmers lack effective mechanisms for                       visits
    meeting, exchanging information, and initiating co-
                                                                    Research visits to
    operation. Farmer networks, farm visits, and trainings
                                                                     Wales, East Anglia and
    organised or facilitated by a local organisation can
                                                                     Picardie, France
    provide this mechanism.
                                                                    Two farmer networks
                                                                    Newsletters and a web
   There is a lack of accessible up-to-date information
    for farmers, retailers and customers about where to
                                                                    A database and audit of
    source local products.
                                                                     Organic Farmers in
                                                                     East Sussex
   There is a need for the development of local
    marketing avenues for organic and other
    environmentally-sound producers for local authority and leisure catering.

   Small scale, local production and distribution networks or co-operatives can be
    financially viable and environmentally sustainable.

Common Cause Co-operative Annual Report 2001-2002                                                 page 5 of 11
Sustainable Food and Farming Centre

The OATES project initiated schemes that enabled farmers to exchange expertise, access
local information and discuss the potential for cooperative marketing ventures. Two farmer
networks continue to meet, facilitated by Common Cause. Common Cause also regularly
delivers information to farmers, retailers, caterers and local citizens.

Consultations with farmers and research in other regions of the UK, identified the need for a
Sustainable Food and Farming Centre in Sussex to deliver advice and training to farmers and
growers and to promote sustainable food networks in the region. Common Cause is working
with Plumpton College, East Sussex County Council and the Wealden and Rother Rural
Renewal partnership to obtain European LEADER + funding for a training and information

Bicycle Blender
The bicycle-powered blender continues to be a big success and has been used by schools and
community groups to demonstrate in an eye-catching, fun way that healthy eating can be
easy and delicious. By pedalling an adapted bicycle, children (and adults) turn a series of
gears to whizz-up fresh fruit with milk or yoghurt to make different kinds of fruit drinks –
and get some exercise too! The blender-bike was designed and built by a local artisan and
funded by the CAFE project and Co-op Dividend Fund to raise awareness about the benefits
of eating fresh fruit.

Community Car Scheme

Common Cause supported research and project proposals by Lewes Community Car scheme
who were working to expand the Community Car venture.

 Membership and Participation
Common Cause is a member of or participant in a number of networks and action groups.
These include:

 East Sussex Food and Health Partnership

 School Food Action Group

 Food Link UK Steering Group

 Sustain’s Food Chains Working Group

 Co-op Union Rural Working Group

 Soil Association Producer Services

 South East Forum for Sustainability

Common Cause Co-operative Annual Report 2001-2002                                               page 6 of 11
 Management and Structure
Common Cause is a not-for-profit, co-operative,
company limited by guarantee. The structure arose as a
way of combining the best elements of the co-operative      The Co-operative Movement
movement, equitable member/worker involvement, in a
                                                            Common Cause supports the
way that allows the organisation as a whole to operate      International Co-operative
for the benefit of the community.                           Principles of the International Co-
                                                            operative Alliance ICA of the 8 th
We have both members and directors. All directors and       January 1996. These include:
employees are members of the co-op and we have a one
member, one vote policy. The directors, who act in a           Voluntary and open
voluntary capacity, form a management committee that            membership
meets regularly to oversee project management and              Democratic member control
financial accounting.                                          Member Economic
Common Cause’s members and directors do not benefit            Autonomy and Independence
financially from membership but they can be employed           Education, Training and
with the projects. Common Cause has an equal                    Information
opportunities policy and posts are advertised to ensure a      Co-operation among Co-
fair recruitment process. We also have a green                  operatives
                                                               Concern for the Community.
housekeeping policy and aim to minimise the
environmental impact of our activities.

The directors of Common Cause 2001 – 2002 were:

Duncan Thompson (Secretary)                          Debbie King (Chair)
Katharine Rayner (Treasurer)                         Michi Mathias
Johnny Denis                                         Lucy Young
Topsy Jewell


We would like to thank the following for their financial support of Common Cause:

East Sussex County Council                           East Sussex, Brighton and Hove
Lewes District Council                               Healthy School Scheme

Lewes District Council Agenda 21                     Co-op Dividend Fund

European Social Fund                                 Esmée Fairbairn Foundation

South East England Development                       Plumpton College
Agency                                               Action in Rural Sussex
East Sussex Rural Development Area                   East Sussex Brighton and Hove
High Weald AONB Unit                                 Health Authority

Community Action for Food and the                    Sussex Enterprise
Environment (CAFE)                                   Caburn -MDC Ltd

Common Cause Co-operative Annual Report 2001-2002                                                 page 7 of 11
High Weald AONB Unit

 Documents Available from Common Cause

An Evaluation of Two Village Produce Markets, Rolvenden and Broad Oak Brede, by J.
Russell and K. Hart, Community Action for Food and the Environment, 2002. (Free)

Healthy Eating Initiatives and Food Provision in Primary and Secondary Schools, by Anita
Tull, 2001, Common Cause Co-op 136 pp. (£15)

Lewes Farmers Market and Local Produce Guide (full colour A3 brochure) (Free)

An Evaluation of Three Farmers’ Markets in Lewes, by Anne-Marie Bur, Topsy Jewell, and
Katharine Rayner,1999, Common Cause Co-operative 53pp. (£5)

Farmers’ Market Survey Pack, 1999, Common Cause Co-operative. (£5)

Can Farmers’ Markets Improve Access to Fresh Local Produce for Families on Low
Incomes? By Anne-Marie Bur, 1999, Common Cause Co-operative, 9 pp. (Free)

Gluts for Tea. A Guide to Making the Most of your Vegetable Box, 1998, Common Cause
Co-operative, 36pp A5. (£2.50)

A Farmers’ Market in Lewes: Feasibility Study,1998, 14pp.

Reducing Food Miles: Forging Better Links Between Food Producers and Village Shops in
Sussex, by Anne-Marie Bur, SRCC, 38pp. (£5)

Common Cause Co-operative Annual Report 2001-2002                                          page 8 of 11
                 Feb 22nd 2001-Feb 21st 2002

                     Income and Expenditure for year ending 21.2.02

                                      Total 21.2.02       Total 21.2.01
              sales                     6,061.51             6,281
          membership                        18                  8
    Grants (restricted income)         41,524.40           33,836.50
        Insurance claim                     0                 4160
             Interest                    450.14              37.58
     Income from members                    0              12,718.74

                                        48,054.05           57,041.82

Total income


     Administration & project           18769.70            15,224.91
               Salaries                 27,622.55           23,750.97
    Affiliation and subscription         237.48               66.25
     Purchases for members                  0               12,011.30
             Depreciation                170.96              195.38

         Total expenditure              46,800.69           51,248.81

           Net income                   1,253.36            5,793.01

Common Cause Co-operative Annual Report 2001-2002                         page 9 of 11
                                       Balance Sheet as at 21.2.02

Current assets

                 Cash                                           0
   Bank and Building Society Account                       27,136.03
                 Stock                                         750
                Debtors                                     2,141.48
       Net fixed Assets (note 1)                            3,875.75

                     Total                                                          33,903.26

Financed by
Creditors                                                  25,603.51
Surplus/(loss)                                              8,299.75

Total                                                                               33,903.26

Note 1.
Net fixed assets

NPV 21.2.01                     £1367.66
Depreciation @ 12.5%            £170.96
New purchases                   £2,679.05
NPV 21.2.02                     £3,875.75
The Directors have
   a) taken advantage of the Companies Act 212985 in not having these accounts audited under Section
   b) Confirmed that no notice has been deposited under Section 249B(2) of the Companies Act.
   c) Acknowledged their responsibilities for ensuring that the company keeps accounting records which
        comply with Section 221 of the Companies Act 1985.
   d) Acknowledged their responsibilities for preparing accounts which give a true and fair view of the
        company and its loss for the year then ended in accordance with the requirements of the Section 226 of
        the Companies Act 1985 and which otherwise comply with the requirements of the Act so far as is
        applicable to the company.
   e) i) taken advantage of the exemptions conferred by part III of Schedule 8 of the Companies Act 1985 and
        ii) in their opinion the company is entitled to those exemptions on the basis that it qualifies as a small

        Katharine Rayner Director for and on behalf of Common Cause Co-operative Ltd

Common Cause Co-operative Annual Report 2001-2002                                                      page 10 of 11

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