Saturday, 31 January 2009


By Greg Taylor

A NEW Fairtrade scheme has been launched called the “Fair Cut Campaign.” It is aimed at hairdressers and beauticians around the Borough of Southend.

The scheme has been set up to encourage salons to serve Fairtrade coffee or tea to their customers while they are waiting. If the salon agrees to commit to serving Fairtrade products they will be awarded an exclusive poster to display, showing they are fully participating in the campaign.

They will also be encouraged to provide leaflets on their magazine tables to help inform customers about the Fairtrade movement.

Hair (221-223, Leigh Road, SS9 1JA, 01702 472472) a unisex salon established for over 30 years who serve, adults and children with their 15 stylists were the first to sign up to the Fair Cut Campaign in September 2008.

Terry Abbot owner of Hair said, “At Hair we are proud to be associated with the Fair Cut Campaign, by offering our clients Fairtrade coffee and tea. It’s easy for us to do and it makes such a difference.” He went on to say: “Our customers think it tastes great too!”.

It is estimated that there are over 120 hair and beauty salons in the borough, Hair has hopefully started a trend leading to more salons joining the scheme. If you need more info on converting your salon please visit or email If your salon is outside of Leigh-on-Sea you can take part too - please email for more info.

We can help you find suppliers of Fairtrade products and together start making a real difference.
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Profile: Leigh-on-Sea's My Kitchen is interviewed about their commitment to Fairtrade

Name: Stuart Hann - Owner
Name of business: My Kitchen, 80 Leigh Road, Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, SS9 1BZ
Bookings: 01702 719222,
Opening times: Tuesday 10am – 6pm, Wednesday to Saturday 10am - 10pm, Sunday 10 – 4pm. Booking is always advisable.

Can you tell us a bit about your business?
We opened on the 11 October 2008 and are a fully licensed vegetarian restaurant. Where possible we source fresh local produce, organic and Fairtrade. We offer freshly cooked to order wholesome vegetarian food.

When did you start selling Fairtrade and what products do you sell?
We have been selling and serving Fairtrade products from the first day we opened. We serve Fairtrade Coffee, Tea and use Fairtrade Sugar and ingredients where possible. Our My Kitchen t-shirt uniforms are also made from Fairtrade Cotton.

Why is it important to you to sell Fairtrade products?
My Kitchen wants to have impact – not only with tremendous food and dining for our customers but also in the way we run our business. We try our best to make ethical decisions in our purchasing. We know that choosing Fairtrade products is one way of doing this as well as sourcing from local suppliers. We don’t want our profit to be at someone else’s loss.

How has your business changed as a result of selling Fairtrade?
This is something that we have always done and always will do. It may in some instances cost us a little more – but the effect it has for the Third World producers makes it so worth the extra cost. We also hope that these choices we make on behalf of our customers adds to the My Kitchen experience of good honest vegetarian food.

Have you seen an increase in the number of people buying Fairtrade?
We have been asked if our Coffee and Tea is Fairtrade and it is always pleasing to be able to report back in the positive. We certainly have noticed an increase in availability of Fairtrade ingredients, this must be due to people power demanding Fairtrade products and then voting with their wallets.

How did you get involved and what standards/goals to you have to meet to be able to sell Fairtrade?
When shopping for ingredients for the My Kitchen menu we actively search out the Fairtrade Mark. We were excited to hear about the campaign to make Leigh on Sea and now Southend official Fairtrade Towns and will continue to support at special events and promotion within the our restaurant wherever possible.

What other ways do you support Fairtrade – fundraising etc?
We will place the official Fairtrade ‘Open/Close’ door swinger in our window. And promote Fairtrade on our menu and through information available in the restaurant.

Have you had a lot of support from the local community/council etc?
It is good to see the website is updated with wholesale suppliers of Fairtrade products. This proves really useful for sourcing Fairtrade items at the right price and where certain ingredients are hard to find.
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Thursday, 22 January 2009

Media Coverage: Baptist Focus Magazine documents Leigh Road Baptist Church's involvement in Fairtrade

Focus the Eastern Baptist Association magazine features a small piece of news about Leigh Road Baptist Church's involvement in the November 2008 Fairtrade Fair. Well done LRBC for raising awarensss with other churches across the Region.

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Fairtrade event for those who commute to London from Southend

Fairtrade Fortnight Lunch Talk Monday 23rd February @ 1pm
Venue; Christian Aid, Interchurch House, Lower Marsh, London SE1 7RT
Nearest tube :Waterloo

Cocoa Farmers celebrating ten years of success with the support of Christian Aid
Come and meet two cocoa farmers from Ghana, who are members of the Kuapa Kokoo cooperative which co-owns Divine Chocolate.

Two farmers from Kuapa Kokoo are flying over to the UK to help Divine celebrate Fairtrade Fortnight and to spread the message about Fairtrade – and Christian Aid is an important stopover on their tour. This is your opportunity to meet, talk with, and hear the stories of cocoa farmers first hand. It is these encounters that really bring home the significant impact Fairtrade can have and the power we have as consumers to really make change happen.

Christian Aid helped start the Divine Chocolate company and has been a great support from the beginning. Ten years ago tens of thousands of Christian Aid supporters played a crucial part in getting Divine Fairtrade chocolate stocked all over the country – a major boost that set it on its way to being the success it is today.

It’s a fantastic achievement – but it is just the beginning and the challenges are still great, especially in today’s economic climate. So Christian Aid supporters are once again using their consumer power in a new ‘stock the choc’ campaign in 2009.

As well as speaking, Divine will be offering free samples of chocolate to everyone who attends.

More about the farmers
Mr James Mensah, aged 41, is Kuapa Kokoo’s Area President for the Enchi region. He is also a Recorder; a highly respected role which is of vital importance to the structure and organisation of Kuapa Kokoo. Only those who are trusted across the community and are fellow farmers are elected to take on the role of a Recorder which involves accurately weighing the cocoa and paying farmers the correct price accordingly. Mr Mensah is married with two children.
Mr James Adiyiah, aged 62, is the Recorder for the Kokofu community. He is married with seven children. He and his family have benefited greatly from Kuapa and Fairtrade – he has been able to educate his children, several of whom are now studying at university. His community has also seen some real benefits. A number of local women have received financial loans via Kuapa which they have invested in soap-making and tie-dye cottage industries. Encouraging women’s empowerment through investing in diversification schemes such as these remain key to Kuapa Kokoo’s ethos.