IT IS not really an adequate diet, but for two weeks the Revd Chris Howson,
assistant curate of Tong and Holme Wood in Bradford, decided
to eat and drink almost nothing but Fairtrade produce for the entire 14 days.
He lost weight, he told me, and seemed on a constant high from too much sugar
and carbohydrate. It was a mixed blessing when children kept bringing him
The hardest deprivation was the lack of meat and vegetables, but he had lots
of fruit, pasta and rice, as well, of course, as tea, coffee, and chocolate (he
had given up alcohol for Lent). He tried to eat one new Fairtrade product each
day, and was glad when he found a variety of beans to vary the rice, and mango
chutney to liven up the pasta.
But the highlight of his fortnight was to meet a coffee-grower from Ethiopia
who said that Fairtrade prices had enabled four new schools to be built in his
area, and that he was able to pay his workers enough for them to send all their
children to school.