Fair Trade Company Shared Earth has donated £10,000 for the creation of the first sustainable community centre in India. Managing Director Jeremy Piercy handed over the cheque to the John Lally International Foundation outside Shared Earth’s head office in York, which is to fund a new community centre in Goa.

John Lally was extremely active in the environmental movement before he died in his late 20’s. He persuaded the council to give over a disused landfill site as a conservation area, and helped to raise several hundred thousand pounds to set up the UK’s first eco community centre on the site. This now forms the template for the Goa project.

The new Goa centre in Moira, will be promoting environmental education, sustainability, community enterprise, recycling and agriculture for all the community and also includes a kindergarten. Using an old Portuguese-style house renovated to 21st century standards, the Centre will be carbon neutral forming a community base for environmental enterprises in agriculture, recycling, garbage collection and other small scale non-polluting industries.

Shared Earth actively campaign against the use of plastic bags with their jute bags made in India which boast a selection of logos such as ‘Reduce, Reuse, Recycle’, ‘Use me till me bottom wears out’ and ‘Say No to Plastic Bags’. They also backed the Daily Mail’s Banish the Bag campaign which also formed part of their PR plan undertaken by Coconut Creatives.

“Fair Trade is making such a difference,” explains Jeremy. “Critics are quick to question whether the Fairtrade logo is just another way of businesses to profit. We are ensuring that the profits of our fairly traded goods directly benefit those communities that require assistance and this Goa project is a classic example.”

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