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Ethical businesses provide food for thought

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Ethical businesses will be providing food for thought at a seminar in Birmingham next month.

Members of three co-operatives involved in the production and selling of food and drink will be talking on the topic of food sourcing.

The event, which will take place at the Botanical Gardens in Edgbaston on Friday, October 19 from 12.30pm to 3pm, is being organised by Co-operatives West Midlands, and follows the organisation’s AGM.

During the seminar, Paul Birch and Richard Bickle of the award-winning Revolver Coffee will be talking about the importance of sourcing AA grade, Fairtrade and co-operatively farmed beans, and how it ploughs 25 percent of its profits back into the producer communities to improve the lives of women and children through health and education.

Duncan Bowdler and Stuart Wooding from the Co-operative Retail Trading Group – the buying group for The Co-operative’s food outlets – will explain the origins of CRTG, how it works today, and how Co-operative customers can influence the direction of the buying group in the future.

And Nick Comley, of Community First, will be talking about the Worcestershire Roots Co-operative, the foundation of which the charity supported with the support of the Co-operative Enterprise Hub.

Worcestershire Roots Co-operative is a ten-acre smallholding in the heart of Worcester, on the site of a former donkey sanctuary. An urban orchard growing nuts, hard and soft fruits has been established and 110 allotments have been created. The farm is also used for training in horticultural skills.

Attendance at the seminar is free and a buffet lunch is provided. To book a place, email Jenny de Villiers of Co-operatives West Midlands at


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