Most popular of all are the various chocolatey treats on offer, from Traidcraft’s newly launched chocolate coated mixed nuts, and chocolate coated raisins, and of course, the scrumptious range of chocolate bars from Divine Chocolate. Handing out the samples gives us a great opportunity to tell people about how Divine is the only UK chocolate company owned by Ghanaian cocoa farmers, or about the work Tropical Wholefoods have done to pioneer solar drying techniques with the apricot farmers of the Hunza valley in Pakistan. There’s a new rush of popularity on our stall when we start giving people tasters of some fantastic Fairtrade wines, including one of my personal favourite, Stellar Organics, as I have visited the farm and winery, and met many of the workers over the years, who now have a 26% shareholding in the winery and are working towards a 50% ownership of the farm.
All the bands we meet show a genuine interest in Fairtrade, and many of them talk about it in between songs. But the best moment for me comes when the legendary Billy Bragg performs his entire set wearing a bright blue pair of Pants to Poverty y-fronts, and is then joined for a final Drop the Debt version of Bob Marley’s ‘One Love’ by his newly dubbed backing dancers, Pants People! I bet Ben and Jerry would have loved it too – it’s exactly the kind of fun with a serious social justice message their company was always meant to be about.
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Watch the Ben & Jerry's dancing cows