Changing lives

Lend With CareAs Fairtrade supporters know people in the developing world do not want hand-outs. is a scheme that allows people to lend small sums of money to entrepreneurs in developing countries to help them turn their business plans into life changing opportunities.
At you can find hundreds of entrepreneurs from across the world who need a small loan to help them grow their business. See


Ban plastic bags

The Kent Co-op Party has been encouranging shoppers to cut down on the use of plastic bags. The idea was to hand out free Fairtrade cotton bags to shoppers as an alternative to plastic. Dartford and Gravesend members were on hand at the New Ash Green Co-op store with the cotton bags and Fairtrade literature. ThHelp us ban plastic bagse Dover & Deal branch were out on two mornings, one at the Co-op store in Dover’s Stembrook and the other at the Co-op in Beauchamp Avenue, Deal. Pictured are members of the branch who managed to give away 100 cotton bags in Deal in a little over an hour, plus Amber Bytheway, a teenager promoting the campaign against plastic bags.

Move your money

It was announced last week that the Royal Bank of Scotland, which also owns NatWest and is 83% owned by the taxpayer, announced bonuses of £800 million despite losses amounting to £2 billion. Meanwhile their score of minus 13 on Yougov’s consumer confidence index means RBS remains the least popular bank in the country.

It is expected that Lloyds and HSBC will also be announcing their business-as-usual bonuses. Whether it’s on ethical or consumer grounds, they score poorly.

These are the banks whose reckless actions brought us to the economic situation we now face, but still the big five high street banks have a 90% market share in the UK.

Whatever the anger from the British public or the warm words from the Tory-led government there has been no significant banking reform as yet. Northern Rock was not re-mutualised. Bonuses continue to be paid.

The Move Your Money campaign, backed by the co-operative movement, is asking consumers to leave the high street banks and move their money to ethical banks like the Co-op Bank or to mutual providers like credit unions and building societies.