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
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.