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YOU ARE HERE > COMMUNITY > FAIRTRADE EVENT COME DWITH US
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EDENBRIDGE FAIRTRADE EVENT 2014
Fair trade fortnight is coming to Edenbridge

Come Dine With Us

 

Edenbridge’s first Come Dine With Us evening at the Eden Centre in Four Elms Road was one of a number of events that saw the town come alive with activity during Fairtrade Fortnight.

The event delivered a fantastic evening of foodie fun served up with a serious message designed to raise awareness of the wide variety of Fairtrade ingredients that can be incorporated into everyone's daily cooking.

The Edenbridge Fair Trade Group set out to show that ordinary shoppers have the power to improve the lives of the world's small-scale food producers one purchase at a time.

A hundred local people enjoyed live demonstrations by six local celebrity chefs, followed by a six-course taster menu of the dishes. The chefs involved were Mr Eafor Ali from Quality Tandoori Restaurant, Jo Banks from Jo’s Pampered Chef Party, Roger Bell from The Old Eden, Phil Diggins from the hft Ltd Oak Tree Bistro, Paolo Grenci from La Botte Restaurant & Wine Bar and Andy Lamar from A. A. Plumbing & Heating.

 

Andy explained: “As a local business we believe in fairness and honesty. We know how hard it is to run a business and earn a living and that is why we believe that it is important to use Fairtrade products as much as possible to give the grower or manufacturer a better profit margin and help them build a business, employ more people and provide a better quality of life for their families and communities.”

The event was organised by Rachel Ledwith, cafe coordinator at eAt@Eden, West Kent Extra's social enterprise venture at the Eden Centre, and helped to give the workforce of volunteers and apprentices an insight into restaurant life.

“As a local Fairtrade-certified café, I jumped at the chance to organise this event as it gave my team the chance to gain valuable experience of working on a large scale event with professional chefs,” said Rachel.

Those who took part included cafe apprentices Lauren West and Elliott Hawkins and volunteers Rhys Johnston, Jodie Jenner, Rebecca Dean and Dimitri Calogeras. Diners were welcomed to the event by a performance from the Eden Songsters.

Local primary schools, Brownies and Cubs also had fun with Fairtrade food; learning about it, cooking it, eating it and telling their parents about it during Fairtrade Tea Parties. Several of the schools have also been running their own Fairtrade Great Bake Off events.

In BRIDGES, Edenbridge residents were able to buy Fairtrade crafts, jewellery and foodstuffs in an all day Traidcraft Extra sale, while eAt@Eden and other local eateries served food made with Fairtrade ingredients.

As well as raising awareness of Fairtrade, Come Dine With Me contributed more than £200 to the Edenbridge Fair Trade Group's work. Rachel paid tribute not just to the chefs and the members of their staff who gave up their time but to sponsors including the Sainsbury’s, the Eden Centre, Flourish Craft Bakery, Vegware and the Grant Rule Trust and the army of helpers who made the event run smoothly.

Stephen Meades, Kent County Council’s Operations Manager for Gateway said the Eden Centre had been pleased to support this “extremely worthwhile” event.

Andrew Pepler, Town Planning Manager for sponsor Sainsbury’s, added: “As the world’s largest Fairtrade retailer, we were excited to support the Come Dine With Us Fairtrade event in Edenbridge. Fairtrade is integral to our company values and we are looking forward to playing an active role in the local community as we progress our plans to open a new store in Edenbridge.”

Rachel said the event, which looks set to be repeated next year, has helped Edenbridge maintain its status as the first Fairtrade Town in Kent.

Looking forward, Rachel and the team at eAt@Eden are already planning to invite the local community to take part in a Big Lunch and will be creating a food court for this year's Edenbridge Fun Day in conjunction with the Eden Valley Chamber of Commerce. Both events will be part of the Eden Valley Summer Festival from 24 May to 8 June.

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