Pineapple expert visits Shared Interest

Earlier this year Shared Interest loaned money to Bio-Exotica, a Ghanaian pineapple producer, for the purchase of some much-needed equipment; which will enhance both their sustainability and their social impact. Henk visited Bio Exotica and was impressed by the support Shared Interest gives.

Henk with Bio Exotica staff

Bio Exotica, established in 2003, is the sole employer in the Asegya area, providing work for more than 100 field workers and other staff. They also play an active social role in the local community and have founded one modern primary school and renovated another. They have also brought roads and electricity to the area.

The organisation aims to provide assured employment for workers and the transfer of knowledge to local famers. Additionally, they aim to improve the living conditions of their community by contributing to employment, education and the development of local infrastructure.

Henk talked about the challenges Bio-Exotica has faced including how the transportation of pineapples with an old truck meant that they couldn’t keep the pineapples at the right temperature for their customers.  A loan from Shared Interest helped them to purchase a refrigerated truck which solved the problem.

Bio Exotica Truck purchased with a loan from Shared Interest

Whilst here, Henk shared some interesting pineapple facts with the team:

How long does it take for a Pineapple grow? 18 months

How many days after flowering can we harvest? 138-144 days

What is the season for Pineapples?    Always, yearly, 365 days a year

Where can you grow Pineapple the best? 10 ° N and 10 ° S Of the Equator

You can find out more on Bio Exotica by clicking here.

Bio Exotica Pineapple with a special message for Shared Interest

Maria from Shared Interest trying Bio Exotica Pineapple

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Namayiana - Fair Trade Producer Visit Click here to learn how you can invest in fair trade.

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Sustainable City Awards Shortlist

Excellent news from the Shared Interest camp, we have been shortlisted for the Finance category of the Sustainable City Awards.

The Sustainable City Awards recognise and reward UK organisations, from multinational businesses to small charities, and promote outstanding achievements and innovation across all aspects of sustainability.

We are looking forward to finding out in February whether we have been honoured with the award itself, either way we are thrilled to have been shortlisted.The awards ceremony takes place on Thursday 3 February at Mansion House, the Lord Mayor’s Official Residence, watch this space to find out the results!

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A Fair Trade Olympics? Let’s do it!

As construction continues onsite and preparations to showcase London develop, in the coming weeks the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games (LOCOG) will begin to look at what some would consider the smaller details.

For fair trade supporters across the UK this signifies a huge opportunity to raise awareness of the fair trade movement.

Fairtrade London has established a fantastic campaign which aims to ensure that all catering suppliers employed by LOCOG stock Fairtrade goods wherever possible. What’s more they are encouraging all suppliers to go above and beyond a basic commitment. LOCOG have already agreed to provide only Fairtrade tea, coffee sugar and bananas, however Fairtrade London want to take this commitment to the next level, asking that all fruit, dried and fresh as well as nuts and all chocolate goods are Fairtrade certified in a bid to “make every Olympic catering purchase a winning one”.

By adding your name to the open letter you are helping to raise awareness of the fair trade movement and pushing Fairtrade products into the mainstream. You can find the letter here all you need to do to join the campaign for a fair trade Olympics is add your name; it’s as simple as that!

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Namayiana - Fair Trade Producer Visit Click here to learn how you can invest in fair trade.

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You can shape the future of Fair Trade

As we draw near to the end of 2010, which has been our 20th year, Shared Interest is looking forward to entering a brand new era with a wealth of possibilities.

In order to involve a broader range of people in what we do, we are working hard on a host of new ideas.

We are keen to build stronger relationships with you, whether you are a current investor or someone who is simply interested in what we do.

We are also looking to offer new ways of helping fair trade businesses grow and flourish, and at this stage it is vital to hear your thoughts and have your input.

Would you like to be involved in shaping the future of fair finance?

Then please click here:

http://www.think-m.co.uk/shared-interest.php

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Namayiana - Fair Trade Producer Visit Click here to learn how you can invest in fair trade.

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World Aids Day 2010

Today is World AIDS Day which is dedicated to raising awareness of the AIDS pandemic caused by the spread of HIV infection.  It has become one of the most recognised international health days and a key opportunity to raise awareness, commemorate those who have passed on, and celebrate victories such as increased access to treatment and prevention services.

Shared Interest fully supports World Aids Day and continues to help many communities where Aids is having a terrible effect.

Thanks to funding from Comic Relief, Shared Interest Foundation will begin 2011 working with businesses in Swaziland to increase their opportunities to earn a fair wage.

Shared Interest Foundation Project

Swaziland has a population of less than a million people, yet it has the highest rate of HIV/AIDS in the world.  With one in three people being inflicted with the disease, there has been a devastating effect on the nation’s small-scale economy.  In recent years handicrafts have become a huge source of national income.

Working in collaboration with the Swaziland International Fair Trade Association (SWIFT), Shared Interest Foundation will provide training for over 130 Swazi handicraft businesses.
Shared Interest Foundation manager Andrea Wilkinson said: “It was after hearing about our work in Rwanda that a group of budding Swazi entrepreneurs approached us about rolling out something similar in Swaziland

They can see how it is training in areas such as fair trade awareness that will ultimately secure them a more sustainable future for their companies.

It is estimated that over 3,000 people will benefit from Shared Interest Foundation’s business support program. Training will include elements such as business planning and marketing along with basic skills such as how to appropriately value products.

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