Joining in the fight for a fairer world


FROM teas, coffees and biscuits to clothes and tea pots, shelves of produce at The Coach House in Balmore are helping those in the developing world.

And during Fairtrade Fortnight, which runs until Sunday, March 13, the importance of Fairtrade is being highlighted further.



Faitrade is about better prices, decent working conditions, local sustainability, and fair terms of trade for farmers and workers in the developing world.

For the last two years, The Coach House has become more and more involved in Malawi and during Fairtrade Fortnight there is a special display of the goods that they have been importing through their sister company Just Trading Scotland (JTS).

There are very attractive products from Dedza pottery - a family owned business which employs over 200 people and does everything involved in making the pots and also amazing wood carvings from Mua Mission, one of the most remarkable centres for carving in Africa.

Also on offer is the Malawi foods that JTS has been selling very successfully for the last few years, Malawi kilombero rice, macadamia nuts, peanuts and yellow lentils.

John Riches, chairman of Balmore Coach House which has been running for more than 30 years, said: “Balmore’s work in Malawi has been catching people’s attention and we have just been asked to represent the trading aspects of the Scotland Malawi Partnership at an exhibition in Edinburgh to be visited by Princess Anne.

“This will be a great chance to demonstrate the new kind of development work that can spring from this kind of partnership between Scottish and Malawian communities.”

He added: “The support which people in the West of Scotland give to Coach House, which schools and churches have given to JTS in selling rice and other produce, coupled with support from councils, especially East Dunbartonshire and Renfrew, have made it possible for JTS to sell over 50 tonnes of Malawi rice alone since 2009.”

East Dunbartonshire has successfully retained its status as a Fairtrade zone.

Craigdu Primary in Milngavie was just one of many schools and groups which held activities to mark Fairtrade Fortnight. P6 pupils organised a Fairtrade fashion show.