Calling all chocoholics.
Members of the Fairtrade Guernsey Steering Group will be handing out chocolate for free from a bus at the Weighbridge on Saturday 19 October.
Samples of many types of Fairtrade chocolate from the Channel Islands Cooperative Society, Waitrose, Marks & Spencer and Mondomundi will be on offer. There will also be a chance to win a Fairtrade chocolate hamper.
The event coincides with Chocolate Week, which runs from 14 to 20 October across the UK, and aims to promote the ‘Make Food Fair’ campaign. Nicky Terry, who chairs the Fairtrade Guernsey Steering Group, said the campaign called for a sustainable food system to ensure that farmers can get a decent livelihood from the crops they grow.
‘There is a vast range of chocolate bars and products available locally and there is also far more to Fairtrade than just chocolate. We would like to encourage members of the public to get involved with the local Fairtrade movement here in Guernsey and as chocolate captures the imagination of children and adults alike, we hope that it will give us the chance to interact in a fun way with members of the public, whilst also conveying an important message,’ she said.
‘The bus allows us to showcase Fairtrade chocolate in a welcoming way and gives protection from the elements. The Weighbridge is a brilliant location and we are grateful to Guernsey Harbours for allowing us to do this.’
As well as chocolate, volunteers will also be giving out products baked by cookery students from La Mare de Carteret High School. They are holding a ‘bake off’ competition at school using ingredients provided by the shops and supermarkets involved and will be judged by Fairtrade members.
‘The Great British Bake Off has created such great interest that we thought we would do something similar here and have a bit of fun. The students are going to make brownies or biscuits using Fairtrade chocolate and they will then be donated to the bus for people to enjoy,’ said La Mare de Carteret High School’s food technology teacher, Andrea Phillips.
Greg Yeoman, head of membership and new media at the Channel Islands Cooperative Society, said that choosing Fairtrade products was a sign of support for producers from the developing world who, in return, give the best of their crop.
‘As a consumer, the Fairtrade mark assures you that farmers, often in third world countries, are receiving a fair price for their goods. In the case of chocolate, some of the finest cocoa beans in the world are farmed under the Fairtrade banner,’ said Mr Yeoman.
‘The Fairtrade product list is fairly extensive. We have around 200 lines in our Co-op large stores
that range from bananas, coffee and chocolate but also includes tea, biscuits, sugar, snacks, beer, wine, juice and even cotton buds.
‘Retail sales of Fairtrade products in the UK in 2012 reached a record £1.5 billion – an 18% increase on 2011. One third of that was chocolate.’
The chocolate bus will be at the Weighbridge from 9am to 4pm on Saturday 19 October.