Guernsey is a lovely place to visit with lots of history and culture to explore, and fantastic restaurants, many of them Fairtrade supporters.
Definitely worth a visit, for those interested in our history, are The Occupation Museum and Castle Cornet. If time and weather permit a trip to Herm or Sark is like stepping back to a time before cars…. watch out for tractors though! Victor Hugo’s house is fascinating, particularly if you can get a tour in English! The Little Chapel is certainly unusual and makes a change form the traditional church visit, and the Town Church (unofficial view) has spectacular stained glass windows.
Walking the cliff paths and enjoying the stunning sea views has much to recommend it, as does finding one of the many cosy and generally excellent coffee shops to spend some time relaxing and enjoying some top quality Fairtrade Tea or Coffee. The centre of St Peter Port is relatively unspoilt but sadly now dominated by UK chains and mobile phone shops. For our very own Fair Trade shop you have venture out of town to St Martins where Mondomundi resides, on the site of the Co-op supermarket, or upstairs in the airport, there you will be met by friendly staff and old fashioned service!
All in all an island to be enjoyed.
Fair Trade Phil
Hello & welcome – we have had a couple of visitors to the island from Garstang – the very first Fairtrade Town. It was nice to spend a short while comparing notes about our fairtrade experiences and hearing about the Fairtrade Way ( a 4 day walk)! We wish them a safe journey home and continued success in promoting Fairtrade.
Fair Trade Phil
Harriet Lamb, Chief Executive of the Fairtrade Foundation, was the chief guest at ‘A Fair Feast’ in the Assembly Room of the St Helier Town Hall on 21 September. Courtesy of the Fairtrade Jersey Island Group, Phil Soulsby and Lydia Grammer were invited to represent Guernsey and participate in a fascinating evening. A buffet with a variety of local produce, along with Fairtrade wine and chocolate, was enjoyed before Harriet spoke about the history, recent events and current progress of Fairtrade. Around 100 people attended this celebration event including the Chief Minister and Dr Lee Durrell, Patron of Fairtrade Jersey Island Group.
Harriet started by explaining how, early in her life, she had been inspired to want to make a difference by Gerald Durrell, and how an early desire to work with animals and conservation had changed into a desire to work with people and enable them to become more sustainable, aiding conservation. The evening had a theme of Fairtrade or Local – if you can’t choose one, choose the other. Harriet described the issues as being two sides of the same coin, part of a current drive to reunite consumers with producers, focusing on the ethics of production and sustainability, enabling more and better understanding of the origins of foods, ultimately, leading to consumers making informed choices about how and where their foods and basic commodities are produced. She particularly pointed out that there would seldom be a conflict in the choice between Fairtrade and Local Produce as very few of the mainstream Fairtrade products are actually grown or produced in the UK or Europe.
She went on to describe some of the less obvious benefits of bringing workers into Fairtrade production; a group of women who formerly sold Shea Butter Nuts to the first buyer for a very poor price, are now processing the nuts into Shea Butter which is being used in a variety of fair-trade marked beauty products. As a result of the extra money, the women are able to care better for their families and they have used the Fairtrade premium to buy material to make new school uniforms for all the children in the village. They hope to go as far as building a school closer to their village to improve and extend the attendance of children, as the current school is a very long walk. As a result of all their contributions to the family and community, the women’s sense of self worth and pride in their work has grown enormously. The community now sees a positive future in Shea Butter nuts rather than just a subsistence living, which causes the younger people to leave the farms in search of work in the cities.
In answer to a question, Harriet explained that the UK is currently the world’s largest consumer of Fairtrade goods, annually buying about two thirds of the world production. The USA, however, is growing quickly and it is hoped, because it is a much bigger market, that they will soon overtake the UK and bring substantial additional volume to the Fairtrade producers. In discussions of new developments, it was revealed that for the first time Fairtrade products are to go on sale in the countries of their production – initially Fairtrade Kenyan Coffee and Fairtrade South African Wine will be sold into their domestic markets – further increasing the value added for the producers.
Harriet closed by congratulating Jersey on the 5th anniversary of the award of Fairtrade status and thanking the Jersey supporters for all their hard work. She further pointed out that the whole Fairtrade movement is a great example of grassroots consumer pressure altering the way big corporations behave, and that a great deal of credit is due to the campaigning of ordinary people to get a better deal for farmers.
Dr Lee Durrell formally thanked Harriet Lamb for her presentation and the evening concluded with the award of certificates to new Fairtrade supporters and a book signing. Harriet was kind enough to sign a copy of her book “The Banana Wars” with an inscription to Fairtrade Guernsey.
Our thanks particularly go to Ed le Quesne, Jim Plumley and Tony Allchurch for kindness and hospitality during the event.
Fair Trade Phil
In a study just published, (more details here) it has been shown that 2-4 cups of tea or coffee per day actually reduce the risk of Heart Disease – so you can now enjoy your preferred cuppa even more without feeling like you are over doing it. Of course you already know that drinking 2-4 cups of Fairtrade tea or coffee is also good for other peoples health! Fairtrade not only means that the farmer gets a fair price, and his workers get a fair wage, it also guarantees better working conditions and improved access to healthcare for some of the poorest people in the developing world. If you needed an excuse to drink more Fairtrade tea and coffee, you have it now. For an example of the impact of Fairtrade on a coffee co-operative please click here
Click here for details of key local Fairtrade stockists,
Hi there, I just wanted to say a huge thank you to all of the Steering Group, volunteers, supporters, donators of gifts, Fairtrade Quizzers, Fairtrade Lunchers, Scouts, teachers, students and everyone else who made Fairtrade Fortnight 2010 such a huge success, you really do make a huge difference! Thank you Nicky Terry
If you want to find out more about our work on the island, maybe volunteer to join the committee or just give us some encouragement, all will be welcomed at 7pm for the AGM
Today we have been privileged to have Comfort Kumeah and Tano Kojo, Fairtrade farmers from Ghana, and Laura Blake, Marketing Manager and Wendy Rowan, Sales Manager, Divine Chocolate Ltd with us in Guernsey. They have had an exhausting program round lots of schools along with visits to Specsavers, mondomundi and Oxfam. There is still time to catch them if you pop along to Pelicans at Kings from 7pm this evening. I hope those present on the school visits will add some comments on how they went – and I hope to add something about the Pelicans event in the morning. A big thank you to Divine for coming over and bringing lots of chocolate with them.
Members of the Guernsey fairtrade Steering Group have volunteered to go through Fairtrade Fortnight eating only local and fairtrade food. Follow their progress here as they post what they’ve eaten and recipes used, as well as finding out where to obtain the finest local and fairtrade foods on the Island!
Let’s get swapping!
If you haven’t already, pay a visit to this super site…..