On the road for Fairtrade Fortnight.
Down to Exeter to wow everyone at 3663 with a truffle making demonstration. I arrived at 8am and while setting up for the tea flavoured chocolate truffle demonstration used the opportunity to chat with some of the hundreds of 3663 customers from all sectors of the hospitality industry in the south west. Half way through the day I made truffles using cafédirect earl gray tea and Divine 70% dark chocolate. Judging from the response the audience enjoyed them and a good number asked for the recipe.
4pm off to Loughborough and the Dog House meeting room where I met the lovely people of Charnwood. Charnwood was awarded Fairtrade Borough status by the Fairtrade Foundation in March 2006 and was the first borough in the East Midlands to gain this prestigious status.
When I arrived the meeting was in full flow with Kuapa farmers Comfort, Kojo and Rosanna from Divine answering lots of interesting questions; I arrived just in time for a few choccy-related ones. At the close of the meeting Ghanaian music was played and both farmers put the reserved English to shame as they danced the night away.
Friday in Stamford – Queen Eleanor School – and a full day of students from several schools listening to the farmers’ stories and learning how choosing Divine can change the lives ot cocoa farmers in Ghana. During the day students and staff were taught how to taste chocolate lie a connoisseur and make Divine chocolate ganache. BBC East Midlands Today came to film the event and find out what the students learned.
Friday afternoon and off to Stamford town centre to open a new Fairtrade shop ‘Green Circle’ on St Mary’s Hill and meet with the owner Simon Tee who stocks the best chocolate – Divine of course.
Saturday morning: 15 local business owners met with the Divine team for a breakfast meeting at Lady Anne’s Hotel entitled “Why Fairtrade is good for business”. I explained why doing the right thing can improve the balance sheet and delegates had the chance to question Comfort and Kojo about what impact owning a chocolate company has on their day to day lives? And of course a little education on how to taste chocolate the meeting finished with some delegates making a commitment to swap to Fairtrade. Then some shopping time for the farmers while I go into chocolatier mode.
Next stop a truffle making workshop at Barn Hill Methodist Church centre
Rutland radio 107.2 97.4 FM presenter Rob Persani, joined us to record his Friday challenge along with 64 eager chocoholics who hung on every word of why Divine is different and how to taste chocolate like a connoisseur. They got to go away with truffles they’d made themselves. The whole event was covered by Channel Lincolnshire for future broadcast.
Saturday night was free time for the farmers and along with around 150 others we attended a Haiti fund raiser with the Wakefield Community Gospel Choir singing joyful songs. A very colourful exhibition Haitian art and Haitian food a great night was had by all.
The next day we attended Sunday service where another full house was awaiting the farmers. The children performed a puppet show called It’s not fair! and highlighted the issues around trade justice and how Kuapa Kokoo and Divine are making a difference to cocoa farmers in Ghana.
Andy Fyall, the minster went on to explain to adults trade justice using the Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard from Mattews gospel 20:1-16