Following the cancellation of our Fairtrade evening in March due to snow, I am writing to invite you to the 'replacement' evening which will now take place in
St Peter's Church, Marlborough at 6.30pm on Saturday 5th May.
I do hope you will be able to attend what should be a fascinating evening of presentation and discussion about the potential for the import of "Mangoes to Marlborough" from The Gambia where there are tens of thousands of trees 90% of whose fruit simply goes to waste.
Leaving aside the (it appears) therapeutic and gustatory (!) qualities of mangoes for ourselves, anything we can do to support the development of that industry in The Gambia will help provide business opportunities for the young people in The Gambia who currently see no future in that country and are leaving in droves taking the perilous 'back way' to Europe, at the mercy of traffickers and many drowning in the Mediterranean in their attempts to get from Libya to Italy and a very uncertain future.
The evening will be led by Allison Burden, Chair of the Marlborough Fairtrade Group and we shall hear from, amongst others, Baai Jabang, the Director of our partner Non Governmental Organisation (TARUD) in the Gambia, who is coming over to talk to us and others about the current situation in The Gambia, and we shall hear from members of the Thriving Through Venture group of young people from Wiltshire schools who are doing intensive research into the barriers to that import and how they can be exported under Fairtrade conditions. A representative from Tesco will be speaking about the conditions required to get the fruit either fresh, dried or juiced onto their shelves.
Malcolm Johnston who has had past experience of importing pawpaw from Ghana and is now visiting The Gambia regularly and is working there on our behalf will also be speaking having just returned from another visit.
We are also hoping to have a representative from the Fairtrade Foundation - to be confirmed.
Refreshments will be provided at the event.
It would help us to know if you are able to come so I would be grateful for a quick RSVP and please do send this e mail on to friends who might be interested, asking them please to RSVP to me.