In this episode we meet Mary Popple the current chair of JTS, the company that imports fair trade goods into Scotland and distributes them throughout the UK.
Mary grew up in Northern Ireland during the 50s and 60s on the border between the republic and the north. Her father was a church minister who tried not to take sides and, as tensions increased, took his family to Scotland. Those early years in northern Ireland gave Mary a strong sense of the importance of equality and of treating people fairly.
Mary has had an interesting journey to fair trade that has gone via the diamond industry and business management. It was her expertise in managing a business that led her to being invited onto the board of JTS. When she was a member of the St. Andrew’s Fair Trade group they contacted the Royal and Ancient to ask if they would consider using fair trade teas and coffees. A successful relationship was established and now it is written into their procedures to use fair trade products at the Open golf championship.
Mary has a bright and positive outlook on life and it was a real pleasure to listen to her thoughts on how a fair trade business should be run.