What is your favourite fair trade product?
It’s so hard for me to pick one product! I love so much of what we sell. If I have to choose I would probably choose the Kilombero Rice as it’s such a great example of the way fair trade can impact the whole community. JTS empower these Malawian smallhold farmers to lift themselves out of poverty by having the right sort of seed and farming tools for the job. Their income becomes stable and reliable meaning they can plan and invest in their businesses. I love the added bonus of the ‘Rice Challenge’ too, where when we sell 90 bags of the rice we send the child of a Malawian farmer to secondary school for one year – such a great incentive to buy this rice over supermarket rice. It’s affordable and environmentally sound as well as delicious – I don’t buy any other rice now and my whole family (even my children) love the brown rice.
What do you enjoy most outside of work?
I love to spend time with my family – my husband and my children as well as my extended family who I am blessed to have so much of living nearby. I also love to meet up with my girlfriends to drink cocktails and set the world to rights!
Where is your favourite place to go in Sheffield?
I love to visit the Botanical Gardens on a hot sunny day and relax with an ice cream as my children climb trees and generally race about! I have many happy memories of spending time there as a child and taking my beloved and dearly missed Grandma to watch the Shakespeare plays in the gardens.
How long have you known about fair trade?
I can’t think of a time when I haven’t known about fair trade. As a child I used to help my mum unpack and price up boxes of fairly traded crafts which she sold through our church. I honestly don’t think I have ever bought unfair trade bananas, coffee or tea in my life – even when I was a student and had no money I had it drilled into me how important it was to support those who have even less than I did and just couldn’t bring myself to do it!
How did you get involved in the shop?
I was involved in the setting up of the shop with my mum and have been one of it’s supporters since it opened. After having 7 years off work since having my eldest child my mum offered me the chance to work here on a Friday and in exchange she and my dad would look after my children! I thought it was a pretty good deal (for me anyway!) so I snapped them up on their offer!
What ideas do you have for the future of the shop?
I’m currently working on the idea of taking fair trade jewellery and accessories into peoples homes to run fair trade parties for customers and their friends. I’d love to do more work in schools too helping to teach children to make educated buying choices.
How do you make your children aware of fair trade and its impact?
We look for the Fairtrade mark on things we buy from the supermarket! They are usually quicker at spotting it than me – even my three year old can spot the Fairtrade mark! My husband and I talk honestly with our children about poverty and how important we think it is to be kind and look after those in need and how fair trade is such an easy way to do this. I’m very keen to foster a grateful attitude in their hearts and to help them to grow up in a way that doesn’t expect entitlement to anything. As Christians, we believe that everything we have is a blessing from God and we are so thankful to him for the privileged lives we lead. We believe that it is our duty to stand up for the poor and oppressed at every opportunity.
Finally… What’s your favourite film?
Casino Royale – I never tire of seeing Daniel Craig in a Tuxedo…
Meet the rest of the Good Taste team.