Friday 27th February
Having raced around both the capital and the Westcountry following a jam-packed schedule, Friday morning brought our two farmers some well-earned R&R. We took them sightseeing around the stunning Georgian city of Bath – but before stepping inside some ancient and modern aspects of the city centre we called in at Starbucks. Here we had a photoshoot with our two ambassadors of Kuapa Kokoo, as Divine Chocolate, the company they co-own, also provides the cocoa for the chocolate bars sold in Starbucks.
Next stop was Jolly’s, Bath’s oldest department store. The farmers were dazzled by the sheer volume and variety of goods on offer. And Anane, initially bemused by some vibrating massage chairs, reflected that setting up shop with these novelty seats might make an excellent business venture back in Ghana. No trip to this spa town is complete without a visit to The Roman Baths which we duly went to, following in the footsteps of the ancient founders of Aquae Sulis.
The small market town of Chippenham, just half an hour from Bath, was our afternoon destination, where we were hosted by the Chippenham Fairtrade Network. James and Anane spent the afternoon awareness raising with local shoppers which will hopefully serve Chippenham well as it works to become a Fairtrade town.
Then it was on to Bristol, a city famed for its imaginative embrace of the Fairtrade movement. Not only has it been awarded Fairtrade City status, but the University of Bristol was the fifth university in the UK to be designated a Fairtrade University. The city also has the highest awareness of the FAIRTRADE Mark in the UK, with seven out of ten inhabitants recognising the logo (see www.bristolfairtradenetwork.org.uk for more info).
So what better way to end their tour of the Westcountry than by being guests of honour at the Love Fashion, Live Fair Fashion Show held at Bristol Cathedral? This spectacular event was organised by Bristol Fairtrade Network & Bristol Cathedral, in association with Oxfam and Christian Aid. The farmers chatted to five times Olympic gold medallist Sir Steve Redgrave who has launched a Fairtrade fashion line at Debenhams. They swapped stories about the benefits Fairtrade has brought to their fellow cocoa farmers and the cotton farmers Sir Steve met on his visit to Mali.
The two farmers were given a truly memorable experience during their whistlestop tour of the South West. They will certainly have some stories to take to their friends & family back in Ghana. But we’re only halfway through the Fairtrade Fortnight – next stop Newcastle and the North-East of England! Posted by Rosanna