Harry Hill Talks Nuts for VeggieVision TV

March 15, 2011 at 4:17 pm Leave a comment

Huge thanks to the amazing Harry Hill for writing about his brilliant Fair Trade venture – Harry’s Nuts……

“I’m a salted peanut lover and a couple of years ago I came up with the idea of my own Fairtrade nut line ‘Harry’s Nuts!’.

I’m really involved in this: from the taste of the nuts, to how long they’re cooked – we cook them for longer for extra crunchiness – and the design of the packaging.

It can be hard to get products into the shops and it’s sometimes hard to get people to notice them on the shelves but when it all works out it’s great, especially as I don’t make any money out of it for myself (what a mug!)

We’ve now got them into Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Waitrose, Ocado and other outlets and we may be extending the range soon.

This is my tenth year supporting Fairtrade – I travelled to Fairtrade banana and cocoa farmers in Ghana in 2002 and saw for myself the difference that Fairtrade makes.

The people at Fairtrade knew if I saw it all for myself first hand I would be hooked. And I was.

The farmers I met used the Fairtrade premium to pay for nurses on the banana farms and for fresh water for villages where the cocoa growers live. They knew what their community needed. All we need to do over here is go out and buy the stuff.

Genius.

Just before we launched Harry’s Nuts! I went to Malawi to meet some of the farmers who grow peanuts for the Fairtrade market. They had just used the extra money which comes with Fairtrade, the premium, to build a desperately needed shelter for the friends and family of hospital patients.

They had traveled long distances to give support and nursing help to their loved ones but often had to sleep outdoors at the mercy of the elements.

The farmers are now using the Fairtrade premium to build storage centres to make sure the nuts are top quality for export.

When the harvest is over, the farmers want these centres to be used for giving out mosquito nets or handing out seeds to farmers who have lost their crops due to a river breaking its banks or other local disasters, and for extra education for children struggling at school.

In Malawi I was particularly struck by how positively the peanut farmers viewed the chance to get their peanuts on to the Fairtrade scheme and the real difference it seemed to be making to their lives.

Simple things like being able to install a tin roof on their homes rather than a straw one and being able to use a machine to shell the nuts instead of having do the whole thing by hand.

The smallholders were really well organised. By themselves they have these tiny plots of land – they  wouldn’t stand a chance of exporting what they grow.

They have to have this organisation to make it happen. They also grow tobacco but this market is  disappearing. The peanuts are a real alternative and a real future for them.

I am working with Liberation, the 100% Fairtrade nut company which is supported by Comic Relief and which is part owned by farmers’ organisations in Malawi , Mozambique and other countries (the rest of the company is owned by ethical investors and charities).

It’s great that the company is run to benefit the farmers and their families. With this product I’m hoping that the great British institution of salted peanuts can help farmers in Africa and Latin America. And we do Fairtrade salted cashews too.

Harry’s Nuts! is a great way to go Nuts for Fairtrade.”

Harry’s Nuts!, salted peanuts and salted cashews from Tesco. Sainsbury’s, Waitrose, Ocado and other outlets. see www.chooseliberation.com/harry, or www.facebook.com/harrysnuts

Please check out the WORLD Channel on VeggieVision and see exclusive interviews with real Fair Trade growers…

http://www.veggievision.tv/Vegetarian-TV-Portal.asp

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