Tracy Mitchell is a Shared Interest ambassador and the views expressed herein are her own and do not necessarily represent the views of Shared Interest Society.
Like many other Shared Interest members, I spent Saturday at the AGM & Members’ Day in York. It was a great chance to hear how the organisation is doing but more importantly it was a wonderful opportunity to hear inspiring stories from staff and producers that reminded us all why we invest and why we are trying to increase the levels of investment.
As is becoming customary, we were treated to first hand feedback from the staff based in our regional offices. From Hugo’s new video of interviews with Central American customers (yes please we’d like a copy on our next Ambassador CD, along with the promotional videos that are on YouTube) to Rachel’s accounts of producer visits in Kenya, it was great to hear how the decision to open offices overseas is really helping us get closer to the producers and understand their needs. It was fantastic to hear from Paul, 3 weeks into his role as the Regional Development Executive in Peru. His talk about the situation in his country and his motivation for joining Shared Interest was truly inspirational.
A recurring theme throughout the day was the need for more share capital in order to satisfy the credit requirements of the producers. As well as hearing about the newly formed Support Relations Team and the good work they are already doing, members were given the opportunity to input ideas for how this additional share capital could be raised – this seemed to be generate lots of discussion so let’s hope there were some useful new ideas put forward!!
We ended the day with another highlight as Andrea gave us an overview of the recent work and plans for the Foundation – there’s already a good summary of this on the blog site so I won’t repeat it! Suffice to say, there’s great work ongoing and more couild be done – with more money!!
All in all a very inspiring day that has refreshed my energy after all the effort of Fairtrade Fortnight! Well worth the trip!
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