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Seed and Bean chocolate

Seed and Bean's huge range of unusual flavoured dark, milk and white chocolate has become a fixture at Just Fair Trade over the last couple of years! Here they explain a little more about their organic, ethical, environmentally aware and local approach to chocolate-making!   The Organic Seed & Bean Company was founded in June 2005 by Stephen Rudkin with the idea to create a ethical range of confectionery always organic using small scale suppliers and being brave with flavours rarely tasted in confectionery. Seed & Bean's creations are dreamt up by Stephen, followed by endless hours mixing and pouring, smelling

Divine Chocolate

Divine Chocolate is a real fair trade success story. Beginning with structural changes in the Ghanaian cocoa market in the early 1990s, it tells of a growing community of farmers who, by working together, are slowly changing the face of the global chocolate industry! Divine Chocolate is a chocolate company part-owned by the cocoa farmers of the Kuapa Kokoo Farmers Union, a model all but unique in global cocoa production. This means that in addition to receiving all the usual benefits of Fairtrade certification, the co-operative has a say in how the chocolate is produced and sold. Two members sit

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Equal Exchange chocolate

Equal Exchange have worked hard to produce an imaginative range of beautiful chocolate. Here’s how they describe it… Organic dark chocolate caramel crunch with sea salt Here’s the bar to satisfy both your sweet and salty cravings! Crunchy caramel bits serve as the perfect complement to mouthwatering sea salt crystals. They work together to bring out the complex flavors of the smooth, fruity chocolate. This unique dark chocolate bar is already one of our favourites! Organic dark chocolate orange (65%) A mouth-watering blend of smooth dark chocolate and ripe, refreshing orange. This bright citrus bar is sweet, fruity and slightly

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Earth Squared tweed Ava bag

Earth Squared bags have been a firm favourite at Just Fair Trade for several years, combining great ethics with a creative, contemporary approach to design! The company is based just outside Edinburgh and the Scottish influence is particularly evident in the beautiful tweed ranges they produce each autumn. But the bags themselves are made in Vietnam by women, most of whom were once rice farmers working in a country with widespread rural poverty. Earth Squared say: Working as a seamstress or in quality control, for example, a person can earn a good standard of living and also send their children to school

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Achkiy mini flower pendant

This handcrafted flower pendant from new supplier Achkiy is made in Peru from brushed silver. It's perfect for those who like delicate and understated but beautiful jewellery! Achkiy (pronounced Ash-key) might be one of Just Fair Trade's newest suppliers but for twenty years they've been building an organisation that is 'working to bring light ['achkiy'] and hope to some of Peru’s most impoverished communities'. Founders Ruth (from Peru) and Julia (from the UK) started by running workshops for women in Lima but the organisation now works with a number of different initiatives across Peru, still deliberately drawing together small groups of women who can

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Nomads Esme cord shift dress

This Nomads cotton needlecord shift dress is the most recent incarnation of a firm favourite with Just customers; it's incredibly versatile and works as well over jeans or leggings as it does with tights (depending on how much you like getting your legs out!!). Nomads grew out of a classic Indian backpacking adventure when Duncan and Vicky returned to the UK having spent their last £200 on ethnic clothes to sell to family and friends! That Indian heritage is still evident in the clothing lines that have developed since that first visit, drawing on the organic cotton that grows plentifully in the country and featuring

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Traidcraft’s place in the world of ‘doing good better’

By Andy Biggs, Traidcraft CEO I find it interesting that part of the promotion of the ideas in William MacAskill’s book, “Doing Good Better: How effective altruism can help you make a difference”, involves having a negative headline about Fairtrade. As CEO of Traidcraft, an organisation that has pioneered Fairtrade and continues to be passionately committed to the movement, you’d assume that I ought to vehemently argue against what he is saying. However, not just reading the headlines, there are plenty of ways in which I think we have common ground, even if I do disagree with his opinion on

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Hand-crafted clay candle holder

Back in May, Louise (development manager) and Kerry (shop manager) had the opportunity to hear Dalit's Julia Hawthorne speak about their work with one of the most deprived, vulnerable and despised people groups in India. We were inspired by her story! All Dalit candles are handmade by the Dalit people of India and the purchase of these candles supports the work of the Life Association with street children of this people group. They say: In 2010 Life Association launched the Dalit Goods brand to raise awareness of the Dalits' plight and also funds for the charity. The idea for Dalit Goods came about as

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Ukuva iAfrica marinade sauces

Ukuva iAfrica marinade sauces are produced in Cape Town, South Africa but reflect the flavours of the whole of the continent. Why not try these ideas from Ukuva iAfrica this summer? Baobab Cha-ka-la-ka Delicious with flame grilled lamb, goat, pork, chicken, corn or vegetable skewers • Delectable dip for fries • Add to mayonnaise or cream cheese for a corn-chip dip • Spread on cheese and cold meat sandwiches • Fabulous mixed into yoghurt to slow-cook chicken or goat • Add to stir-fried vegetables (with chilli if needed!). Chermoula North Africa Mix a tablespoonful with equal measures of oil, white

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Blue multi colour stripe rug

Namaste products have long graced the shelves of Just Fair Trade! We love their use of colour which often reflects the cultures who create the products, and summer really is the season to indulge in their great range! These rugs would be the perfect addition to a picnic or barbecue, adding a little bit of class to any gathering! Namaste say: '[These are t]raditionally made handloom rugs that are made in India for Namaste on a fair trade basis. The pattern and raw materials are provided to the weavers and payment is made on collection. Namaste’s Indian agents visit and audit the

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Malawi Monday

For me, meeting a farmer was the moment ‘fair trade’ shifted from being a great concept to a genuinely transformational movement. I’ve been aware of fair trade for over twenty years, and my personal commitment to buying fair trade where I could – and encouraging others to do the same – began long before I became part of the team at Just Fair Trade a little over three years ago. But when I found myself sitting at a dining table with Howard Chiko Msukwa, a Malawian rice farmer, the penny dropped in a new way. A growing part of my

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The 90kg Rice Challenge

The basic premise of the 90kg Rice Challenge is really very simple - you, or your faith group, school, office, sports team or community group, have to sell 90kg of rice in order to send a Malawian rice farmer's child to secondary school for a year. That's it! Why should I do the Rice Challenge? If we're honest, we probably wouldn't recommend doing the challenge on your own! If you're involved in some kind of community group, take the challenge on together! Malawi, one of the world's least developed countries, has low life expectancy, high infant mortality and has been significantly affected by AIDS/HIV. Primary education is free but

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The Four Faces of the 90kg Rice Challenge

Our Malawi evening on Monday 22 June brought together, almost by accident, four people who embody the 90kg Rice Challenge – the farmer (Howard), the importer (John Riches of JTS), the retailer (Kerry of Just Fair Trade) and the campaigner (Rosemary of the Hinckley and Bosworth Fairtrade Forum). The farmer Back home in Karonga, northern Malawi, Howard has three-and-a-half acres (roughly equivalent to three full-size football pitches) in which to grow rice, alongside the maize, cassava and other crops which feed his family. In December the fields are ploughed, ready for the rainy season; the soil is broken up either

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Men’s White Pants To Poverty Trunks

The ultimate in practical presents, these Pants to Poverty trunks do exactly what it says on the package! Pants To Poverty was launched as part of the Make Poverty History campaign back in 2005 and since they've been committed to 'developing a transformational business model that is beautiful from cotton to bottom'! They say: 'We may be small, slightly eccentric and utterly uncompromising, but with your help, we will prove how fashion will change the world.  The world needs change, and the power to do that lies in your pants.' Underwear is definitely one of those areas in which our

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Act Justly Territory Satchel

This practical and stylish satchel was made by women in India working with Freeset, an organisation set up to provide choices and opportunities for former prostitutes. They say: Freeset was established in 2001 to provide high quality jute bags whilst also providing intervention and employment to women who had been trafficked into prostitution in Kolkata, India. We now employ over 150 women who manufacture our export quality bags and our customers range from large corporations to community groups, schools and events. Their ethical commitment extends to their environmental practices, using sustainable materials and minimising the need for chemicals that can

Buying fair trade for Ramadhan

On Wednesday 3 June 2015, we hosted our very first Ramadhan shopping evening! For some time we've wanted to do more to support Muslim communities in Leicester, but we’d struggled to find the right opportunity. But this year the pieces came together! The focus of the evening was on ways in which individuals and communities could draw on fair trade products as they mark Ramadhan, an important part of the calendar for Muslims across the world. It's a time when many Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset for 29-30 days and is followed by the festival of Eid. Ramadhan focuses not only on worship but

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Saying thank you to Kath!

Kath Lawson-West has been one of Just Fair Trade’s staunchest supporters since the very beginning! Back in November 1996 she was a Traidcraft rep, selling fair trade products in her church, St Mary and All Saints, Stoughton; her decision to get involved in our very first short let shop that Christmas led to an almost twenty year relationship with Just Fair Trade! When Just opened its first premises in Bishops Street in 2000 Kath became one of our first shop volunteers, coming along two afternoons a week whilst juggling being a wife, mother and dog walker! Over the years she’s

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Lion Father Lion Son Father’s Day card

This beautiful handmade card is one of four produced by Cards From Africa to celebrate Father's Day. They say: At Cards from Africa, we make all of our handmade paper from discarded scraps that would otherwise be destined to burn. Not only is this environmentally friendly, it also ensures that we have a large range of base colours and textures of paper to work with. On average it takes 30 minutes to make one card -- so each card really is a labour of love! Without adding any chemicals to bleach the paper, we create various textures using natural products

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Recycled tin can campervan

These amazing recycled tin vehicles are produced in Madagascar for Shared Earth and are one of our best-selling products! They make the perfect gift for that tricky uncle or cousin, or the friend who has everything! They're produced by Bezalila, an artisan co-operative set up in 1994 by a French development agency but now operating as an independent company. The co-operative has eighteen workshops and works with weavers, woodworkers, bone-carvers and those who model tin cans, a craft known in Madagascar as 'kapoaka'. At Just Fair Trade we stock a huge range of recycled vehicles, varying in size from the truly

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Emilie Holdall

These vintage-inspired holdalls are just a small part of Patchouli Fair's range of brightly coloured floral dresses, accessories and home wares which have, over the years, come to play an integral role in Just Fair Trade's summer offerings! As far as we're concerned, Donna, Patchouli Fair's founder, has joined the league of those who, like Elvis, Madonna and Kylie, don't need a surname! Her periodic visits to the shop involve the arrival of huge suitcases filled with the current season's range, followed by several hours of rummaging, conversation and tea! Her summer dresses are unique amongst our clothing suppliers and bring a

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Strawberry and coconut macaroons

Volunteers are the life-blood of Just Fair Trade and it's always great to add new people to the team! One of our newest members is Lara who's got into the truly glorious habit of bringing homemade goodies into the shop when she volunteers! A couple of weeks ago she turned up with these amazing old-skool macaroons and since we sell desiccated coconut, strawberry jam and chocolate we thought we'd offer what might turn out to be the first in an occasional series of recipes we love! So pop into the shop, pick up your ingredients and get baking! Share photos