Helen Tandy (Partner, Castlefield Advisory Partners)
This year’s Fairtrade Fortnight was 29 February to 13 March, and I always try to arrange something in our Manchester office. This year I arranged a visit from Shared Interest, who came in to talk to the team about the work they do supporting Fairtrade through microfinance. We had Kerry Baker from Shared Interest and Lucy McMahon from the Shared Interest Foundation.
I made the team a Fairtrade/ethical lunch with donations from staff - half of which has gone to the Shared Interest Foundation and half to our Charity, La Renaissance
Shared Interest key facts:
They are the biggest supporters of Fairtrade in the EU*.
They have 9,000 members and 10,000 investors.
Last year they loaned £48m in different currencies, supporting over 400 organisations.
They have been in existence for 25 years.
Their clients have provided Fairtrade goods for the likes of People Tree, Equal Exchange Inc, Cafe Direct coffee & tea, Ben & Jerry's and Kool Skools Uniforms.
Several of our clients hold a modest proportion of their savings with Shared Interest, either waiving the interest or retaining it. Although not covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, they know that their money is having huge social impact around the world – providing the means for a livelihood for those who otherwise would have no access to finance at fair rates.
Find our more about Shared Interest
The Shared Interest Foundation was set up in 2004
They provide support to small businesses and collectives overseas, to enable them to learn the necessary skills to apply for Fairtrade status and helping with business plans, so that they can apply for loans. They work in 11 countries, mostly in Africa, find out more
*Info given in presentation to Castlefield employees from Kerry Baker and Lucy McMahon
Shared Interest investment is by way of a Share Account in the Shared Interest Society Limited. It is registered under the Co-operative & Community Benefit Societies Act 2014. The above Information was provided by Shared Interest as at 1 March 2016 and does not constitute investment advice.. For more information, please contact Castlefield Advisory Partners or Shared Interest.