News

Education, Podcasts

Pauline Tiffen interview

Welcome to this special Christmas episode of the Rainbow Turtle Rebooted podcast where I’m delighted to be able to interview Pauline Tiffen of the Journal of Fair Trade. Ever since I started this series I have been trying to get Pauline onto it. I first heard her speak at a Scottish Fair Trade Forum lecture back in the summer of 2020, at the height of lock down, when she spoke about the future of fair trade. It struck me then that her thinking about fair trade was on a different level to mine. 

She’s been involved in fair trade, or earlier versions of it, since the mid 1980s. She helped set up Cafe Direct and Divine Chocolate. Pauline was head hunted by the World Bank to look at ethical financing. And she currently edits the Journal of Fair Trade and is involved in the setting up of a business to business project, which links cooperative coffee farmers in landlocked Uganda and Rwanda with small coffee roasters and coffee shops around the UK.

We had a fascinating chat where she talked about her early bohemian childhood following her travelling actor father, to her studying russian in the old Soviet Union and then moving to Poland when Lech Walesa started the Solidarity revolution. I’ve decided to keep this longer podcast together in one episode just to maintain the fluidity of her interesting story. I do hope that you can find the time to listen to it and enjoy her story like I have done.

My thanks to Pauline for sharing her thoughts on fair trade and on her interesting life experiences. It was a real pleasure to interview her and I hope that you have enjoyed this episode as much as I have done. Listen out for more of our episodes, particularly for a series of talks we recorded during COP26.

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Uncategorised

Window display

Have you seen our spectacular COP26 window display celebrating cooperation and close connections between consumers and producers and between all of the people around us? We hope so, as time doesn’t slow down and we had to say farewell to our COP display to welcome another wonderful artwork created by very talented Nicola Henry. Nicola is a Glasgow based illustrator, who was kind enough to let us into her world right in the time for Christmas. Come down to the shop to see us and admire Nicolas’s work in full. Besides the wonderful window display, we also have a lot of new stock and we (probably) have everything you need to finish off your Christmas shopping or simply treat yourself during this cold weather.

We have a range of nativity scenes – felt from Nepal, wood and olive wood from Bethlehem (doesn’t get more authentic than this!). On top of that, we have a big range of Christmas tree decorations and of course – TONS OF CHOCOLATE – white, milk, dark, vegan, big bars, mini bars, hearts, coins, elves, angles…you name it!

For those of you looking for more practical gifts, we have a fresh delivery of items made from inner tubes, coffee sacks and lorry curtain fabric: washbags, wallets, sports boot bags, ‘gig’ bags and decorations. For smaller humans we have some new Christmas themed items from Lanka Kade – perfect for Christmas stockings (which you can also get in our shop – Christmas sorted!).

If this doesn’t convince you, I don’t know what will. Our fantastic volunteers know answers to all your questions about the origins of items stocked in the shop. They are also great if you just want to pop by for a little chat. I’m going to risk saying that we have the best volunteers in town! 😀

So get your warm coat, hat and mittens (if you can’t find them, it’s ok, we have some in the shop!) and pop down to see us!

To see more of Nicola Henry’s work please head to her website: https://www.nicolajanehenry.com/ or find her on Instagram at https://instagram.com/nicolajanehenry

Education, Podcasts

Martin Rhodes talk on COP26 and Fair Trade Part 2

This is the 2nd part of Martin Rhode’s talk that he gave to Rainbow Turtle at their AGM back in October. In part one he talked about the links between COP26 and Fair Trade. In this episode he answers questions from the audience and goes into some of the areas more deeply. Some of the questions he dealt with were:

  • How did we prevent the global south paying for the cost of the climate emergency, 
  • What was happening to tariffs that was preventing producers from exporting finished products rather than raw materials, 
  • And, what was the Scottish Fair Trade Forum doing after COP26?

So pour yourself a cup of tea, sit back and relax…

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Education, Shop

Global Hands Working Together

Rainbow Turtle’s Smithhills Street window for COP26

As part of Paisley’s Windows on Cop 26 Illuminated window art trail, Rainbow Turtle was fortunate to have its Smithhills Street window beautifully decorated by artists, Rebecca Johnstone and Tzaritsa Asante. Working on a theme of Global Hands Working Together it reflects the different hands that need to work together to save our environment.

Paisley First and Renfrewshire Leisure teamed up together to create an art trail through Paisley that includes the Rainbow Turtle shop wind. They wanted to link the COP26 discussions happening in Glasgow with the climate issues that were important to the Paisley business owners. For more information on the art trail click here.

Rebecca Johnstone (aka Dainty Dora) is a writer, artist and designer creating bold and colourful hand-drawn pattern designs and illustrations – such as the iconic Paisley Pattern – to create her unique ‘Pattern Bomb Prints’, design calendars and stand-alone illustrations. More about her work can be found here.

Tzaritsa Asante is a sustainable fashion designer from Scotland/Ghana. More about her work can be found here. Tzaritsa will also be speaking at Rainbow Turtle’s COP26 event, “Climate change & fair trade: Behind the scenes” on Friday 12th November at 6pm in the Life Church in Paisley. More information on our event can be found here.

Education, Podcasts

Mauro Pereira interview

Welcome to our 7th edition of Rainbow Turtle Rebooted podcast. In this episode we talk to Mauro Pereira from Brazil. He is the executive director of Defenders of the Planet, an environmental campaign group based in Rio de Janiero. He is attending the COP26 summit as the focal point for Latin America for the sustainable development goals.

Mauro talks passionately about our environment, especially at what has been lost or destroyed in his home country, he talks about his early influences and what led him to campaign for the environment.

This episode was recorded ahead of the start of COP26 and we were fortunate to hear from Mauro before he spoke to the conference on Thursday 4th November.

Uncategorised

Climate change & fair trade: Behind the scenes

The United Nations Climate Change Conference COP26 is happening right now in Glasgow and as you know it is arguably the most important global leaders meeting in our lifetime to date. The future of our planet and its inhabitants is critically endangered and in need of immediate and confident action.

To mark this event and show our support, Rainbow Turtle is hosting an event in Paisley and we would like to invite you to join us. 

During the evening we will be able to hear talks and presentations from a number of guests:

  • Jennifer Sambazi – Fairtrade coffee producer and cooperative leader from Uganda
  • Mauro Pereira – environmentalist, favela educator and part of Brazilian civil society delegation at COP26
  • Tzaritsa Asante – sustainable fashion designer from Scotland.

We would value this opportunity to meet you and share with you our plans for strengthening Renfrewshire’s commitment to fair trade, social justice and climate change action.

There will be a possibility to explore a fair trade stall with a selection of ethical and fairly traded goods and some time to enjoy Fairtrade tea or coffee and some light snacks after the talks.

The event is supported by the Renfrewshire Fairtrade steering group, which supports and promotes fair trade businesses and projects within Renfrewshire.

You can also find out about the event on our Facebook page and you can book your place on Eventbrite.

Education, Podcasts

Martin Rhodes talk on COP26 and Fair Trade Part 1

Martin Rhodes of the Scottish Fair Trade Forum recently spoke at the Rainbow Turtle AGM about the importance of fair trade to the COP26 talks starting in Glasgow at the end of October. He states passionately that there can be no climate justice without trade justice.

This is part one of the podcast. Part two will be the question and answer session that followed.

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Education, Podcasts

Josh Brown Interview

Welcome to the 5th episode of the Rainbow Turtle Rebooted podcast. In this episode, I’m delighted to interview former Rainbow Turtle education officer, Josh Brown.

Josh offers some interesting insights into fair trade and the concept of development in relation to developing countries. He spent some time studying indigenous peoples in Australia, which formed his thinking on the effects of colonialism. 

Josh reflects on his time at Rainbow Turtle and the work that he did in schools. He has a refreshing attitude to working with young people where he likes to encourage questioning, rather than providing answers. He also gives a shout out for some of the wonderful people that he worked with at Rainbow Turtle, in particular, Molly McGavigan, who showed him the ropes.

Finally, Josh talks about the work that he’s currently doing with teachers, to give them the tools that they need to work with young people in schools.

Please subscribe to our podcasts on Apple, Spotify, Amazon and Google podcasts. If you like us give us a 5 star rating or leave us a comment.

Education, Seasonal, Uncategorised

Black History Month

This years’ BLACK HISTORY MONTH is in full swing and I feel one cannot talk about fair trade, climate justice and social justice without talking about Africa and the people that call this beautiful continent home. Many events, both good and bad, shaped the way Africa is today and it is crucial to remember them and recognize their importance, for there is no future without the past. Today, however, I would like to reflect on how we see and how we talk about Africa.

For years, the African continent has been associated with poverty, corruption, political chaos, human rights abuse, various diseases and a lack of both development and ambition. While some of these things are undoubtedly present in parts of the continent, the challenge is to look beyond that, to look beyond media cliches and plain stereotypes, as shrouded behind all these is a beautiful, radiant, vibrant and diverse continent.

When I think of Africa I think about breath-taking scenery, diverse fauna and flora, delicious food and a wonderful variety of musical sounds. I think about all these but mostly, I think about the PEOPLE. It is disdainful to throw African people into one pot as this huge continent has more tribes, cultures, religious beliefs and languages than an average person can comprehend. From this diversity stems the true beauty of Africa. From Tunisia to South Africa, from Senegal to Somalia – Africa is a patchwork of cultures and traditions that are as radiant and thriving today as they were hundreds of years ago. So yes, Africa is a beautiful place that is alive thanks to the people that live there.

It is a popular belief that due to the fact that many African countries struggle with high levels of poverty, only pocket deep donations can overcome this problem. While, arguably, this approach might be relevant in some situations, for instance, environmental catastrophe or even armed conflict resolution, it is my opinion that Africa would indeed benefit from every one of us becoming a conscious citizen. We need to understand the effect our actions have on other people (however far they might be) and the planet. African people are no different to us in the meaning that they work hard to earn the living. The difference is in how that work is valued and treated. If we demand from our leaders to ensure honest, fair and decent pay for work to everyone on every step of the trade chain there will be no need for charity and aid money. To me, this is fundamental in understanding Africa and its people.

Perhaps this is quite obvious, but nonetheless, I would like you to think about those people. Think about people when you are shopping for this warm winter cardigan to prepare for long winter nights. Think about people when you are drinking that life-saving morning coffee to help you get through the day filled to the brim with things that just can not wait, kids that need your attention right now and the boss that wanted this paper on his desk yesterday. Think about people when you are making the comforting bowl of curry and rice for the dinner. Think about people when you are buying flowers for someone you care about. Think about people, as they make all these possible. Is this why they deserve to be treated fairly and with respect? No. They deserve to be treated as our equals because that is who they are. Being human is enough to deserve respect. Borders, different skin tones or a different way of saying ‘hello’ don’t change that. We need to treat people fairly because they are people.

So please, instead of thinking about poverty think about equality, instead of feeling pity think about fairness. Let’s stand up for human rights – this October and for as long as it’s needed.

Charity

Rainbow Turtle Charity AGM 2021

We’re delighted to announce our charity’s AGM on Thursday 21st October 2021 at 7pm at the Methodist Central Halls in Paisley. Tea and coffee will be provided. All welcome. Please email info@rainbowturtle.org.uk if you plan to attend.

The business of the meeting will be followed by a talk by Martin Rhodes, chief executive of the Scottish Fair Trade Forum, entitled: “What SFTF is doing for COP26 and what can we do as individuals”.

Enclosed are the papers for the meeting (please click on the link to open the relevant paper):

  1. Agenda
  2. Minutes of AGM 2020
  3. Chair’s report
  4. Financial report
  5. SCIO summary report