Saturday, December 5, 2009

Danielle's Diary: Manly Fair Trade Christmas Market, 29 November 2009

Today I took the family to Manly for the Fair Trade Christmas Market. We got there at just past 7am to give us plenty of time to set up a deliciously gorgeous Nui stall. I used lots of the beautiful Nui postcards on the display– they looked great on a black backdrop. We had a great position under the trees out the front of the council chambers, and near the music – there was a cool breeze coming from the sea keeping the temperature comfortably ambient – so the chocolate didn’t melt YAY!!
It was a nice mellow family kinda day – not too intense – I had time to chat with people and not feel overwhelmed with having too many people to deal with at once. I shared the responsibilities of looking after the stall and our 1 yr old son Quidam, with my partner Jean Pascal, although once things were set up, I did most of the stall and he did most of Quidam – he had him asleep in the Ergo on him for hours!! Well done Papa. Quidam was a star as well he thoroughly enjoyed the music and all the admiring people.
The cacao products stole the show. Our top selling product for the day was the chocolate bar – we sold 13 – with no sample – I figured everyone knows what chocolate tastes like and it’s the story that sells – minimal refining, practically handmade right here in Terrey Hills!!! The choc coconut spread was not far behind with 11 sales. We sold out of cocoa powder – we only had 2 and I think we could’ve sold more – powder is the cacao product people are most familiar with over butter or nibs. Everyone was really curious to try the raw beans – a taste of REAL chocolate – and the product stories just flow from there.
I was surprised at the resistance of many people to give their email address and sign up for the Nui Generation – there was a clear sense that people are getting flooded in their email accounts with stuff they don’t want - hence the importance to find out people’s interests and only mail for those specifically.
We only took a limited range of the skin care products – small body butters, body bars, hand & body washes, foot & body scrubs. We tried Andreas’ suggestion of offering to take the money and post any product we didn’t have on Monday.– a great solution to lugging stacks of stock around to the markets – and people were into it – I love the building of trust :o)
We got 21 new members for the Nui Generation – their main interests being fair trade, climate change, beauty, health, food & CHOCOLATE!!! Despite it being a fair trade market there were still quite a few people who were unaware of this and not really interested in finding out more information though many others were really receptive and interested in the story.
Friends and family dropped by to visit which made the day even more enjoyable.
Over all I thought we had a successful day – our sales total was around $580. We are finally at a space where we can have a smooth running relatively easy operation – YAY TEAM!! GO NUI!!!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Tinputz Community Climate Change Action Day, Bougainville, PNG

Greetings Olgeta (all of you in local pidgin)...

a beautiful dawned here in Tinputz Community ..the centre of the regions Climate Action Day in partnership on 24'th October 2009. The actions started with planting of mangroves..the traditional barriers to storm surges and protection from tsunamis...and a very important breeding habitat for local fish.

From there we proceeded to Marau Village, the centre for the relocation settlement for the climate change refugees from the Carteret’s Island. Here we planted taro, kasava, banana and other garden crops, focusing on sustainable local food security and sustainable village life.

It is truly a privilege to be present here and watching in action, the resettlement of communities whose islands have been destroyed by rising sea levels and how they are going about the difficult and painful process of leaving their homes and building afresh far away from centuries of ancestry and culture.

It is humbling and empowering to see the sense of community and how people are rebuilding their lives with grace and dignity...yet their fate has been changed by the indiscriminate actions of others in places far removed and unknown....

We returned to Tinputz Community for the Church Service...and the ringing of the Gong, 350 times to bring awareness of the importance of understanding climate change. This was followed by the main event that included most of the children, 350 of them, in forming firstly a map of Bougainville, then moving into the numbers 350...and then, well choreographed, their arms depicting a ticking clock towards Copenhagen and the need urgent change.

Ursula Rakova, event organiser and director of Tulele Peisa then addressed both the children and the larger community about the significance and importance of the number 350 in relation to climate change. From there, lunch and live bands and traditional dances, to continue to welcome the Carterets Islanders into the Tinputz and build and strengthen the community spirit to support the tuff transition facing the world’s first climate change refugees.

All and all a fantastic change, practical, ...celebration...and the building of a new community.

Thank you to Ursula and the Tinputz community for allowing us to witness such a beautiful and profound event.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Climate change action day

be a fan of a beautiful tommorrow

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Official Opening of Santo Coconut Oil Mill, Vanuatu

Its a great day in Louganville...main town of Espiritu Santo in Vanuatu. After many years of struggling in receivership, COPS Coconut Oil Production Santo Limited officially open the doors again today under the leadership of CEO Bernie Glaser.

Coconuts are a traditional income for around 70% of islands communities and can thus play a pivotal role in the economic empowerment of island nations. At the same time, coconut oil is historically the most price volatile commodity in the world, islands nations are fraught with logistical pitfalls and for may years growers of coconuts and producers of copra have not received their fair share of income.

It is thus accepting a great challenge when the new management team of COPS has committed themselves to an open and transparent system in trading and endeavour to use the mill as a platform for economic empowerment through price and information sharing with growers.

The systems are yet to be put in place, but the commitment is there to operate an ethical and sustainable manner, a significant step forward from many other such operations in the Pacific and around the world.

We look forward to the opportunity to work with COPS to ensure that the aims of all participants,, copra producers and the mill can be achieved in a holistic and transparent supply chain management system.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Fair & Organic in Fiji

bula vinaka from Fiji....just completed our certification of our partner Bula Organics.. for the start of 2010 our Nui soaps will be hand made in Fiji again....for anyone to support this initiative please consider for your next purchase
...vinaka vakalevu ..thank you very much

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Historic day as COPS Ltd (Coconut Oil Products Santo) in Santo, Vanuatu, starts purchasing copra for the refurbished coconut oil mill. The aim is to usher in a new system of commercial partnership arrangement, including African Pacific and all coconut farmers of the Archipelago.

One of the mandated aims of the business model applied within the systems is a complete track and trace system that will allow all stakeholders to understand the mills impact on the nation wit the goal to measurably improve the livelihoods of the growers on economic, social and environmental levels.

I am extremely please to be involved in this project and look forward to be able to chart the progress of the COPS and all stakeholders in Vanuatu in this endeavour.

Please do not contact me should you have any interest in having more information.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

William Wordsworth: The World Is Too Much with Us (1807)

The world is too much with us; late and soon,
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers;
Little we see in Nature that is ours;
We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!
This Sea that bares her bosom to the moon,
The winds that will be howling at all hours,
And are up-gathered now like sleeping flowers,
For this, for everything, we are out of tune;
It moves us not.--Great God! I'd rather be
A Pagan suckled in a creed outworn; (1)
So might I, standing on this pleasant lea, (2)
Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn;
Have sight of Proteus (3) rising from the sea;
Or hear old Triton (4) blow his wreathed horn.

(1) Brought up in an outdated religion.

(2) Meadow.

(3) Greek sea god capable of taking many shapes.

(4) Another sea god, often depicted as trumpeting on a shell.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Koko Samoa: an ingredient for an organic economy

Greetings from Samoa. What a beautiful place to be! I am hear as part of a joint team working to understand better how to integrate traditional farming systems, conservation of biodiversity and international trade.Quite a challenge, especially given all the failures of the past to sustainably assimilate these at time divergent aspirations. However, it is a wonderful opportunity to learn, compare and start a fresh in this new paradigm of change.Samoa has a unique cocoa industry in which the tradition of consuming cocoa has become an integral part of the daily life for Samoans both here and those living in around the world. Koko Samoa, a roasted and crushed cocoa paste, serves as a daily beverage ad a substitute for tea and coffee, as well as sweet rice breakfast dish and many a desert.

Comparing the Samoan cocoa experience to the rest of the Pacific nations such as Bougainville, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu, in which cocoa is still only regarded as an export crop, will indeed make for interesting analysis. What I have learnt to far, is given the complex structure of the local industry in relation to diverse products and local markets....It is the farmers who control the price of cocoa in Samoa. Now when last did we see a situation where farmers are price makers and not price takers.

Interesting indeed, with more to follow, but definitely an aspect of an organic economy that should be investigated in more detail.

Sunday, February 1, 2009


Week 5, 31 January 2009
NY Confessions
What a month! 2009, solar eclipse, out with year of the rat, and in with the Ox. Already I have two confessions.
Firstly this has been one of the best months of my life: Professionally, Personally and Planetary. This does not mean it has been an easy one, not at all. It may have even been one of the hardest. My dearest
Mutti has taken ill back in the home country, I left my beautiful family in South Australia and the disciplinary effect of our tough economic times is hurting my image as a mr nice guy. Yet somehow, somewhere my life continues to flow in harmony and the gratitude that arises brings pure joy. So I wish to thank all those who continue indulge me and my endless economic adventures.
Secondly, I have become a self help junkie. Tolle, Martha Beck, Byron Katie, Jacob and anyone who can shed light on the subject of Ego. This has affected all my thinking, and has opened me to edit my long held title of : The Organic Economy.
Far from being unique and something for me to define, “The Organic Economy“ is in fact just the reality in which we live, like it or not. Discussed
ad nauseam in every possible way, by everyone. In the study of human interaction in relation to our unlimited wants and limited resources. We are all intrinsically linked, warts and all and its definition is our reality. It is today. It just is… It is as human as you are, we are and I am. Welcome to planet earth...
The only thing I can cast thought on, is My Organic Economy! This is my personal diatribe…which I may define, ..describe, ..discuss, …enact, ..change…and in which I can influence my anxiety of the my own
scarcity paradigm But more than my thoughts and intention, I wish to document my actions, publicly it seems. I am a “wanna be” eco activist who subscribes to the words of Aristotle.
Is his wisdom, he wrote; “Reading makes a knowledgeable person; Writing makes a precise one” None of my thoughts or actions are new or novel….but this is my soap box. So welcome,
homo economicus to
I start with from simple hypothesis: inorganic+time=organic