November Newsletter Video Blog Summary
This November I finally managed to meet with Heather Masoud and the team at Zaytoun.
I had an instrumental and life changing meeting to discuss fairtrade with the Muslim Council of Britain, attended a debate organised by the Brent Fairtrade Network about the future of fairtrade.
Produced bean to bar chocolate with Bruce Crowther MBE in Garstang and enjoyed a beautiful Emirati lunch with Mr Andy Biggs Chief Operating Officer at Traidcraft and his wife at the wonderful Sheikh Mohammad Centre for Cultural Understanding, Dubai and the United Arab Emirates.
The Zaytoun team and Me!
Before my meeting with the Muslim Council of Britain I finally met with Heather Masoud and the Zaytoun team.
Heather Masoud Co Founder and Director of Zaytoun and ME!
Zaytoun Products at the Head Office in London
Many thanks to Dr Jamil Sherif (Senior Advisor), Mrs Nasima Begum (Media Officer), Mr Harun Rashid Khan (General Secretary),
Ms Ayesha Tarunum and Ms Maaria (MCB Administration Team for organising and taking time out of their busy schedules to speak with me and Mr Alistair Menzies (Commericial Director at Traidcraft) Thursday 10th November 2016.
The Muslim Council of Britain Signage and Fairtrade products
L-R: Dr Jamil Sherif, Me and Alistair Menzies
Me with Alistair Menzies
It was a positive meeting and Dr Jamil Sherif stated that he would discuss fairtrade with other members of the MCB board and said it would be beneficial for fairtrade producers and products to be promoted at the Muslim Council of Britain's ''Visit My Mosque'' event scheduled 5th February 2017.
Many thanks to Alistair Menzies for taking the time to travel all the way from Gateshead to attend this instrumental meeting and Heather Masoud and Manal at Zaytoun for the Zaytoun gift bags.
Since the meeting I have corresponded with Mr Hassan Joudi organiser and coordinator of the Visit My Mosque event where it is anticipated that over 80 mosques from across the United Kingdom are expected to participate.
I also sent emails to inform Adam Gardner Campaigns and Community Manager at the Fairtrade Foundation, Christina Longden Project Manager at The Lorna Young Foundation, Rita Verity Owner at Sonia's Smiles and Heather Masoud Co-Founder and Director at Zaytoun about the event in February.
I hope the Visit My Mosque initiative will be the first of many and envisage that it will assist to raise the profile of fairtrade producers and artisans amongst Muslim consumers, mosque committees, educational institutes and businesses.
L-R Barbara Crowther, Stuart Singleton-White, Vidya Rangan and Anne Cooper
During my visit to London I attended a debate organised by Brent Fairtrade to discuss the future of fairtrade.
Date: Thursday 17th November 2016
Venue: The St Martin's Church, Mortimer Road, London, NW10 5SN
Anne Cooper, Oxfam
Barbara Crowther, Fairtrade Foundation
Stuart Singleton-White, Rainforest Alliance
Vidya Rangan, ISEAL: Global Movement of Sustainability Standards
* Is the Fairtrade model still a good one?
* Why not a Fairtrade label of manufactured goods?
* Rainforest Alliance and Fairtrade: are the two labels needed?
* Why do we need the Fairtrade Sourcing Programme?
* Workers' wages and rights raised by the critical SOAS report in 2014 ''Fairtrade, Employment and Poverty Reduction in Ethiopia and Uganda.''
* What is the future of ethical certification?
* How should Fairtrade respond to the proliferation of schemes?
Two hours flew by and it was interesting to learn from Stuart Singleton-White how the Rainforest Alliances work in collaboration with fairtrade certifications.
I had never heard of ISEAL and Vidya Rangan was a passionate speaker. It was also refreshing to learn from Anne Cooper about OXFAM's campaign to empower women and girls around the world.
Many thanks to Chair Peter Moore of the Brent Fairtrade Network and his team for organising this important discussion.
I indulged in a little fairtrade retail therapy too!
Beautiful fairtrade gifts at the fairtrade debate
Director of The FIG TREE Bruce Crowther and ME!
After 5 long years I returned to Garstang to meet with fairtrade campaigner, educator and Director of The worlds first fairtrade centre and café THE FIG TREE Bruce Crowther MBE.
It was a wonderful opportunity to visit The FIG TREE's new location at the Lancaster Priory and learn how to make bean to bar dark and milk chocolate.
Bruce Crowther MBE at The Lancaster Priory
Entrance to the Lancaster Priory
Lancaster Priory Fairtrade Church Certificate
Fairtrade gifts at The FIG TREE, Lancaster Priory, Lancaster, UK
Grown by Fredrick in Ghana and produced by Me and
Bruce Crowther MBE
I had always wanted to learn how to make bean to bar chocolate and finally tried to learn all the different elements during a master class with Bruce Crowther.
It was hard work but well worth the effort.
The Fig Tree Chocolate on sale at the Organic Shop
I hope to upload the process in a separate blog soon.
The Sheikh Mohammad Centre for Cultural Understanding Dubai, United Arab Emirates
At the end of November arranged a visit to The Sheikh Mohammad Centre for Cultural Understanding for Mr Andy Biggs and his wife.
We enjoyed a beautiful Emirati lunch and were given a presentation about Emirati culture, heritage and history by the animated Mr Rashid.
It was interesting to meet with Mr Biggs and discuss fairtrade and ethical consumerism in the United Arab Emirates.
Wishing all my fairtrade producers and artisans, friends and valued supporters Seasons Greetings and a Happy New Year.
Thank you so much for reading and supporting fairtrade and ethical producers.
Further Reading and Links
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August 1st 2017 marks my mother’s 65th birthday.
My beloved mother was a ‘courageous woman, she was my first school of thought, love, compassion and my paradise.’
Mum was an extraordinarily humble, kind and charismatic lady.
She could strike up a conversation with anyone. An empathetic listener, amazing chef and gardener, she possessed a sharp wit and humour that would instantly lift your spirits.
This month I was I was approached by Ellen van Dongen of the Responsible Shopping Dubai website and asked if The Little Fair Trade Shop would like to be featured. I said YES!
Attended my first Dubai Vegan Meet Up, continued with my Who Made My Clothes course and was diagnosed with a painful frozen shoulder.
I spent most of August 2016 with my siblings in London and mustered the energy to board a train to historical York to visit Shared Earth and talk with founder and owner Jeremy Piercy.
Many thanks to David Piercy for his time and support during my visit.
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