We were thrilled this week to receive a visit by the CEO of the Fairtrade Foundation, Mr Michael Gidney. Michael visited on invitation from the team at Fairtrade Devon, as he wanted to see exactly how Devon had made such a success of its Fairtrade County status in the UK.
As a 100% Fairtrade coffee roaster, Owens has supported Fairtrade Devon for a number of years, providing a strong local connection for when the hard-working team and volunteers run their impressive annual school conferences and regular engagements with local businesses, councils and communities, helping to raise awareness and interest in the important work carried out by the Fairtrade Foundation.
Did you know that Devon has 17 Fairtrade Towns (either confirmed or currently in the process of application)? Each area with its own group of volunteers and community supporters. In fact, we are working with local support currently to help regain Ivybridge's Fairtrade Town status.
Left to right: Matt Steele, Sue Errington, Michael Gidney, Lorraine Bridden, Mayor Alan Spencer, Eleanor Hoggett, Alison Derrick
That's why it was also a pleasure for the Fairtrade team to be joined by Ivybridge Mayor Alan Spencer, Town & District Councillor and Chair of Ivybridge Chamber, Matt Steele and Geography Teacher from Ivybridge Community College Eleanor Hoggett. Owens' owner Lorraine Bridden gave the group a tour of the Roastery, and everyone enjoyed a Fairtrade coffee over breakfast and conversation relating to Michael's own experiences and insights into Fairtrade and to hear how the organisation is supporting growers to fight against the impact of climate change, to ensure that they future-proof their livelihoods and that we don't lose some of our favourite fresh produce (which of course, includes coffee).
Here is a little behind-the-scenes peek at the visit and the Roastery tour: