Fairtrade Fortnight rolls on in Bexhill and features a story of empowerment

A visit to new business Visionary Soap was a highlight of Fairtrade Fortnight activity in Bexhill.

MP Greg Barker met Monica Norley to talk about ethical trade and look over her products which are shipped out to shops around the UK.

Fairtrade committee chairman Jack Doherty said: “Monica told her most interesting story of many years’ involvement in empowering the poorest and marginalised, especially womens’ groups from Mexico to Africa through developing their skills, valuing their products and trading fairly with them enhancing their self respect, and they moving from lowly employees to negotiating successful producers.

“She sources the oils, shea butter, plant essential oils , scents and so on from smallholder farmers and groups around the globe. Mr Barker was glowing in his recommendation of the marvellous long term and far reaching venture now in it’s ninth year. Mr Barker also thought it would be a great idea to have visionary soap available for MPs in Westminster - obviously no pun intended. Monica actually trained groups of Aids orphans in South africa how to manufacture and sell fair trade soaps.

Any entrepreneur interested in this development could contact Monica , who is visiting and supporting some groups in Malawi at present.

Mr Barker was fulsome in praise for the Bexhill Fairtrade Town Committee and the ever widening support in his Bexhill constituency.”

Other Fairtrade Fortnight hits included the coffee morning at St Mary Magdalene church hall which saw Neil Woodroffe with fellow musician Tony Pryor perform live, as well as Peter Crighton.

Jack praised the event for its “wonderful Bexhill spirit and support.”

Youngsters also played an important part - Ninfield beaver scouts went bananas to promote ethical trading, as did pupils of St Mary Magadelene school who rose to the Rice Challenge,

And both Greg Barker and Town Mayor Cllr Frances Winterborn were happy to sign a Bexhill petition with hundreds of local people saying “We want Bexhill to be a 100% Fairtrade Banana Town” - its hoped many more will sign during the next few weeks.

Jack added: “The Fairtrade Town Committee is very grateful and extend their huge thanks to all the support from the people of Bexhill.”