ARC administrators Pippa Moss and Natalie Hingston receive the Gold Award from George Alagiah.
When representatives from ARC’s office in the UK were invited to the annual Fairtrade Business Awards in nearby Bristol they were only expecting to pick up a Bronze award. But when the results were announced Pippa Moss (ARC Personal and Events Assistant) and Natalie Hingston (ARC Finance and Administration Assistant) were delighted to discover that ARC was one of only three businesses to receive a Gold Award at the ceremony.
The event was organised by Bristol Fairtrade to celebrate local business organisations who are doing their best to promote the use of Fairtrade products in day-to-day office life.
Pippa and Natalie were presented with ARC’s award by respected BBC newsreader George Alagiah, himself a former patron of Fairtrade, and the ceremony was also addressed by Sandra Rojas, a Fairtrade sesame farmer from Nicaragua who was visiting Bristol for the annual Fairtrade Fortnight.
“I was proud that we were making a difference to the lives of others,” Pippa said afterwards. “Hearing the farmer from Nicaragua showed how Fairtrade really makes an impact on the lives of people who produce our food.”
Natalie added: “It’s especially relevant for us as a conservation charity to keep that ethical perspective. It’s not only about the conservation of the planet – it’s the people on the planet as well.”
All the tea, coffee and biscuits used at the ARC office are Fairtrade certified and the ceremony heard that the UK bought £1.3bn worth of Fairtrade products in 2011. However, this large figure was only equivalent to £1 per UK family per week and the organisation’s aim is to increase this to £2bn in 2012.
“Everybody was very enthusiastic,” Pippa observed. “But we also learnt how we need to do more. I will definitely try to do more in my personal life as well as at work.”