Ed Balls visits Suma during Fairtrade Fortnight
Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls and Labour’s parliamentary candidate for Calder Valley, Josh Fenton-Glynn, visited Suma during Fairtrade Fortnight to see how our business supports the Fairtrade movement and thrives on equal pay for all our workers.
We introduced Ed and Josh to Mavis Adugyamfi and Mercy Zaah from cocoa producers Kuapa Kokoo of Ghana. Mercy and Mavis were visiting Suma as guests of Divine Chocolate. The Ghanian farmers’ cooperative holds a 45% share in Divine and has two representatives on their board of directors. Ed and Josh were stunned to learn that Kuapa Kokoo’s farmers’ cooperative has 80,000 members!
We asked Ed if he thought our equal pay cooperative business model was something he would recommend for other businesses. “Clearly this is something that is working really well though I am certainly not going to say that it is a model that is going to work for all businesses,” he said. “What we want in the economy is people who innovate and try things and challenge conventional wisdom.”
He was clearly impressed by our sucess and business ethics, adding that as Europe’s largest equal pay employer Suma provides a refreshing change from the bank RBS “which says they can only succeed with £5m bonus arrangements.” Kuapa Kokoo’s moto is “Pa Pa Paa” which means ‘The best of the best’ in the local Twi language. At Suma we believe that with Fairtrade we’re “All Together Better.”