Fairtrade Chocolate for Fairtrade Fortnight in Clonakilty

Organisers, helpers and special guests at last Friday's Clonakilty Fairtrade Chocolate Talk and Taste event at the Emmet Hotel organised as part of Fairtrade Fortnight. From left: Cionnaith Ó Súilleabháin, (PRO Clon FT); Susan McManamon, (helper); Richarda Stienhans and Ingrid Kaar, (Fairtrade Head Office); Mayor Anthony McDermott; Heidi, a Cocoa Grower and Chocolate maker from Nicuragua, who was guest speaker; Allison Roberts, (Clonakilty FT Chocolate and Clon FT); Trevor Kingston, (Chair Clon FT) and Cindy Kingston, (Secretary). (Photo: Anna Groniecka).

Fairtrade Fortnight concludes this Sunday and members of the local committee have been “spreading the message” visiting schools over the last two weeks speaking with students on the topic. Last Friday evening at the Emmet Hotel, around 35 people attended an interesting talk on chocolate making – along with plenty of tasting as well!

Host for the evening was Allison Roberts of Clonakilty Fairtrade Chocolate (who is also treasurer of the FT committee).

Also present was Heidi from the Soppexcca coffee co-operative, Nicaragua, and two reps from the Fairtrade National Office in Dublin.

Mayor Anthony McDermott impressed everyone when he spoke in fluent Spanish to welcome Heidi to Clonakilty and to commend the local Fairtrade committee for all they do.

Cionnaith Ó Súilleabháin, founder PRO of the committee gave a brief history of the group and how it was founded, urging people present to ask shopkeepers for FT if they don’t stock it, and he also issued an invitation to people to join the group.

With the formalities over there was a two hour talk and tasting of chocolate as Heidi and Allison explained the whole process of making chocolate from harvesting the cocoa pod by hand and extracting the 30-40 beans to the finished product. In an interesting Q and A session afterwards Heidi explained the benefit of FT to her family and community because their co-op is guaranteed a fair price for their cocoa.

Chair of Clonakilty Fairtrade Committee Trevor Kingston thanked everyone for their support for the event and emphasised the need to support FT products all years round. He paid tribute to Allison Roberts for organising the event and Heidi from Nicuagua and the support of the National Fairtrade Office in Dublin over the last 15 years.

Further details on Clonakilty Fairtrade Facebook Page.

Join us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ClonakiltyFairtrade

Follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/ClonFairtrade 

Clonakilty was officially declared Ireland’s First Fairtrade Town on 22nd September 2003

Read how we did it here: http://clonakilty.ie/index.php/community/fair_trade_in_clonakilty/