“We love to listen to our customers and for this reason we would be delighted to hear from you if you would like a bespoke fair trade product made especially for you.”

Fair Trade Ethical Living - Fair trade chocolate master class and interview with Bruce Crowther MBE, Garstang, United Kingdom

Fair Trade Ethical Living - Fair trade chocolate master class and interview with Bruce Crowther MBE, Garstang, United Kingdom

VISIT TO THE FIG TREE, BEAN TO BAR CHOCOLATE MASTER CLASS AND INTERVIEW WITH BRUCE CROWTHER MBE -

NOVEMBER 2016

I had the good fortune to visit Bruce Crowther, MBE during November 2016 and spent a morning learning how to produce fairly traded bean to bar chocolate.

Fredrick fairtrade farmer with Kuapa Kokoo and his cocoa beans used to produce The FIG Tree chocolate

The cocoa grown by Fredrick in Ghana.

Fredrick is a member of the Kuapa Kukoo Farmers Cooperative Ghana, and it was wonderful feeling knowing he had grown the cocoa for our chocolate.

 

CHOCOLATE MASTER CLASS

We began our chocolate making at the crack of dawn and I was nervous not to make any mistakes and spoil Bruce's batch of chocolate.

I have posted all the photographs chronologically as we produced the chocolate.

 

Interview with

Bruce Crowther MBE

 

Chocolate Masterclass Photo's

 Cocoa Beans - Chocolate Master Class Bean to Bar with Bruce Crowther MBE visited November 2016 by Sabeena Ahmed

 Fredrick's fair trade cocoa beans roasted shells intact

 

Chocolate Master Class Bean to Bar Chocolate with Bruce Crowther MBE visited November 2016 by Sabeena Ahmed

 Grinding the cocoa beans into a thick chocolate liquor

 

Chocolate Master Class Bean to Bar Chocolate with Bruce Crowther MBE visited November 2016 by Sabeena Ahmed

Refining the cocoa until it was smooth and flowed easily

 

Chocolate Master Class Bean to Bar Chocolate with Bruce Crowther MBE visited November 2016 by Sabeena Ahmed

 Measuring the temperature

 

Chocolate Master Class Bean to Bar Chocolate with Bruce Crowther MBE visited November 2016 by Sabeena Ahmed

 Fine sugar

 

Chocolate Master Class Bean to Bar Chocolate with Bruce Crowther MBE visited November 2016 by Sabeena Ahmed

 Bruce adding and mixing sugar to the chocolate liquor

 

Chocolate Master Class Bean to Bar Chocolate with Bruce Crowther MBE visited November 2016 by Sabeena Ahmed

 Bruce measuring cocoa butter

 

Chocolate Master Class Bean to Bar Chocolate with Bruce Crowther MBE visited November 2016 by Sabeena Ahmed

 Final produce fair trade chocolate read to eat

 

Chocolate Master Class Bean to Bar Chocolate with Bruce Crowther MBE produced by Sabeena Ahmed

 Delicious fair trade Fig Tree chocolate

 

Chocolate Master Class Bean to Bar Chocolate with Bruce Crowther MBE visited November 2016 by Sabeena Ahmed

 The Fig Tree Chocolate

 

Chocolate Master Class Bean to Bar Chocolate with Bruce Crowther MBE visited November 2016 by Sabeena Ahmed

 The Fig Tree Chocolate

 

Chocolate Master Class Bean to Bar Chocolate with Bruce Crowther MBE visited November 2016 by Sabeena Ahmed

 Bruce Crowther MBE and me!

 

Bruce Crowther MBE writing in The Little Fair Trade Shop Guest Book, Garstang UK November 2017

 Bruce Crowther MBE writing in The Little Fair Trade Shop Guest Book, Garstang, UK - November 2017

 

Bruce's words of support

''So good to have you back in Garstang Sabeena and have the joy

of making bean to bar chocolate with you.

Now 5 years on we are struggling to continue with The FIG Tree but we are STILL HERE and the chocolate smells good.

Let's continue the struggle together acrosse the globe that sees

1853 Fair Trade Towns in 29 countries.''

Bruce Crowther

 

 Bruce Crowther MBE guest comments in The Little Fair Trade Shop guest book Nov 16

Guest book comments 

 

Chocolate Master Class Bean to Bar Chocolate with Nadia Hussain and Bruce Crowther MBE produced November 2016 by Sabeena Ahmed and Bruce Crowther MBE

 I presented Nadiya Hussain with the chocolate I had produced

with Bruce Crowther MBE

 

Book signing and fairtrade gifts including The Fig Tree fair trade chocolate presented to Jo Malone by Sabeena Ahmed and The Little Fair Trade Shop, Dubai, UAE

 I also presented Jo Malone with fair trade chocolate produced

by Bruce Crowther MBE and me!

 

It was a tiring morning but well worth it!

I purchased lots of Fig Tree chocolate and shared it with like minded individuals in Dubai.

I hope to go back to Garstang in the near future and hope to make more fair trade chocolate with Bruce if he'll have me.

 

ABOUT BRUCE CROWTHER MBE

INTRODUCTION

Bruce Crowther MBE – Founder, Fair Trade Town Movement and Fair Trade Activist

Bruce Crowther a vet by profession was awarded the MBE for services to Fairtrade and Oxfam.

He was included in the former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown's book 'Everyday Heroes.'

He now serves as Executive Director for the FIG Tree and was the International Fair Trade Towns Ambassador for the International Fair Trade Towns Steering Committee for many years.

A vet by profession, Bruce Crowther is an experienced activist who began campaigning for Oxfam in 1984. A fervent and vocal Fairtrade campaigner that he managed to persuade his fellow residents in the small market town of Garstang in Lancashire where he lived with his family and practised as a vet, to declare itself the world’s first Fairtrade Town in 2000. 

Bruce went from shop to shop and visited all the local businesses, asking them to make a commitment to Fairtrade. Enthusiasm gathered and the local council signed a pledge to use or sell Fairtrade products where possible, and most of the town’s traders started selling or using Fairtrade products.

Following his efforts, Garstang, with its population of just 5,000, inspired the Fairtrade Foundation to develop the Fairtrade Towns campaign and 560 towns and cities to date all over the world have since received Fairtrade status. 

Crowther says,
“Shortly after Garstang became the world’s first Fairtrade Town, I realised that we had to make the link between farmers in developing countries and local farmers, who also struggle to get a fair price for their produce. When Bowland hill farmers are forced to sell their lamb for less than the cost of production, it could just as easily be a coffee farmer in Peru or a cocoa farmer in Ghana.”
 
In 2009, Crowther was awarded an MBE in the New Year honours list for services to Fairtrade and Oxfam.

The honour recognises his work supporting developing countries through Fairtrade Towns, Oxfam and the twinning link between his home town of Garstang in Lancashire and New Koforidua in Ghana.

Receiving the award, Crowther said, “I’m just one of millions of people who care about the poverty and inequality that underlies most, if not all that is wrong in our unjust world. I hope by accepting this award on behalf of this mass movement of people it will help to promote even greater awareness of poverty and the part we all play in it.”

Crowther now works full-time as the Director of The FIG Tree producing delicious fair trade chocolate and works from home in Garstang.

Bruce Crowthers other honours include being made a sub-chief in New Koforidua in the Ashanti region of Ghana, where he received the Beacon prize for creative giving in 2004.

In 2007, he was included in Gordon Brown’s book Britain’s Everyday Heroes, which is a collection of real life stories about ordinary people whose enthusiastic commitment has made a great difference to their communities through the “power of personal relationships.”
 
In 1992, Crowther formed the Garstang Oxfam Group and was Chair until 2002. The Oxfam Group was instrumental in making Garstang the worlds’ first Fairtrade Town in April 2000 (officially recognised in November 2001).

Bruce now Chairs the Garstang Fairtrade Group and the Garstang And New Koforidua Linking Association.

Bruce lives in Garstang with his wife and three children.
 
The FIG Tree is the world's first international Fair Trade Visitor Centre. Originally opened in 2011 in Garstang (the worlds first far trade town).

The people of Garstang voted for their unique status at a public meeting in April 2000 and since then over 1,500 Fair Trade Towns in 25 countries worldwide, including London, Paris, Rome, Madrid, Brussels, Copenhagen, Oslo, Chicago, San Francisco, Boston, Vancouver and Wellington in New Zealand have all followed in Garstang's footsteps.

Information taken from the Green Solutions Magazine and The FIG Tree website.

 

Further Reading and Links

The FIG Tree

Garstang Fairtrade Town

Kuapa Kokoo

Divine Chocolate

Fairphone2





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Ramadan and Eid Mubarak to all my friends, family and fairtrade producers around the world!

Once gain here I am!

Another blessed Ramadan but one that is marred with pain and sadness.

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This is my blog summarising my effort to support fairtrade producers and artisans during the blessed month of Ramadan 2024.

My right shoulder is very painful and prevented me from creating vlogs and blogs about Fairtrade in Islam.

Apologies in advance for any errors in the Urdu translation.

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Ramadan Mubarak to all my fairtrade friends and family!

This month my right shoulder is still very painful and I have struggled to type a continuation of this blog.

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Translation in Urdu

اردو میں ترجمہ

میرے تمام فیئر ٹریڈ دوستوں اور فیملی کو رمضان مبارک!

اس مہینے میرے دائیں کندھے میں اب بھی بہت درد ہے اور میں نے اس بلاگ کو ٹائپ کرنے کے لیے بہت جدوجہد کی ہے۔

اپنی تکلیف کے باوجود میں فیئر ٹریڈ رمضان 2024 میں شرکت کرنے اور روزانہ فیئر ٹریڈ پروڈکٹ پوسٹ کرنے میں کامیاب رہی۔

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March 2024 - Newsletter Video Blog Summary
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Ramadan Mubarak to all my fairtrade friends and family!

This month my right shoulder is still very painful and I have struggled to type this blog.

Despite my pain I managed to participate in Fairtrade Ramadan 2024 and post a fairtrade product everyday.

Translation in Urdu

اردو میں ترجمہ

میرے تمام فیئر ٹریڈ دوستوں اور فیملی کو رمضان مبارک!

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اپنی تکلیف کے باوجود میں فیئر ٹریڈ رمضان 2024 میں شرکت کرنے اور روزانہ فیئر ٹریڈ پروڈکٹ پوسٹ کرنے میں کامیاب رہا۔

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