Thursday, 20 February 2020

Henley Rotary Club

RICHARD WALKER, an associate member of the club, returned last week to give a talk entitled “Oil in the fair trade engine”.

He is ambassador 14 of the Shared Interest Society, which aims to break the cycle of poverty through the creation of resilient businesses.

Richard stressed that although the ratio of global poverty had reduced since world free trade had been encouraged, the most disadvantaged areas were in central Africa.

The society lends money to approved fair trade producer groups in Rwanda, Malawi and Swaziland as well as in 56 other countries.

Richard emphasised that investors do not lose their money, although the rate of interest they receive is not great.

It was more a case of feeling that your investment was being used productively and ethically, particularly concentrating on the dictum, “a hand up, not a hand-out”.

The society made loans totalling about £60 million last year and Richard encouraged the Rotarians to open up investor accounts. The organisation also has a foundation into which pure donations are channelled.

Club president Barry Prior thanked Richard for his talk and presented him with a £200 cheque for the foundation.

John Luker

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