Jun 222011

Voice’s Dave Watt invites readers to come along to a Talk/Discussion on Palestine

The Aberdeen branch of the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign (SPSC) are hosting Zaytoun representative Sandy Stuart‘s talk on his experience of the Palestinian olive harvest.

This is an excellent opportunity to come along and find out about Palestine and a chance to buy Palestinian produce.

“I first became involved with Zaytoun/ Palestine as a distributor for Palestinian products about 7/8 years ago and have been active in this ever since. It then seemed a logical step then to go to the West Bank and support the farmers directly during the olive harvest.” – Sandy Stuart

Zaytoun is a Community Interest Company founded in 2004 to create and develop a UK market for artisan Palestinian produce.

The company is a cooperative, and a member of the International Fair trade Association.  As a member of the International Fair Trade Association it’s Primary objective lie with the welfare of the producing communities

Quakers Meeting Hall,
98 Crown street, AB11 6HJ
30th June 2011 at 7:30pm


Local Food? – Yes Please!

 Aberdeen City, Articles, Community, Environment, Information  Comments Off on Local Food? – Yes Please!
Mar 252011

By Ela Nowakowska.

Being a student often means we have to watch the pennies closely. Cruising through supermarkets looking for bargains and discounted produce that will feed us until the next chunk of the student loan arrives.

It is hard to associate with the industry behind the mass-produced Cornflakes and the cheapest chicken breast with the camouflage of glaring lights in pristine warehouses.

But it does not have to be this way.

Taking a step back and giving our food some thought is not actually that hard and Aberdeen is a great place when it comes to local produce. Located by the sea it offers a wealth of seafood and fresh fish as well as regionally grown vegetables and fresh dairy products.

We do not even need to leave campus to make the make the most of the shopping opportunities available through the Veg Bag scheme and the associated student organic Fairtrade Shop. Both are outcomes of ingenuity and have led to regular weekly shopping opportunities for not only the university students and staff but are also gaining recognition from the surrounding community too.

Every Tuesday at Alfies Café, Butchart Centre, between 12 and 2pm all are welcome to purchase a bag of ethically and organically grown fruit and vegetables delivered from Lembas farm located just south of Aberdeen (lembasorganics.co.uk). The student shop (campus Chaplaincy on High Street, every Wednesday 12-2pm) obtains its stock from the Green City co-operative in Glasgow, which specialises in the wholesale of organic and ethical foodstuffs such as pulses, snacks, flour, coffee and many others. And they are all dirt cheap!

As far as real grocers in Aberdeen are concerned, do not waste your precious time trying to find one – you will not. But do not fret for there are several decent spots where you can get you hands on fresh local produce. That includes a little weekly farm stall on The Green (take the steps down from Union Street, beside the Thorntons Chocolate shop) where every Friday you will find vegetables, plants and eggs produced locally on a farm near Dyce.

D Nicoll Fishmonger on 243 Rosemount Place is a lovely little shop where you cannot only grab some fresh mackerel or a few tasty little sardines but also get your free-range eggs and some hand-made preserves, all local and on a small and unpretentious scale. If you fancy something a little closer to home then why not use the fishmonger who comes to you? A white van appears on the university campus every Thursday with all the fishy basics you can think of, at very affordable prices too!

A great way to support local producers in and around Aberdeen is to visit the Farmers’ Market

There is another fishmonger in Aberdeen, located in the indoor market on Market Street where you can get the sense of what shopping in this merchant city would have been like several decades ago. The people behind the counter know their trade well; they’ll be able to advise you on the best fish for your Indian Korma and home-made fishcakes.

While at the market, why not pop across the hall to the butcher’s stall which has  plenty of regional meats of high quality. Surely you are already dribbling at the thought of your Friday night Bolognese with a bottle of well-chilled lager on the side. This stall also offers fruit and vegetables so you can purchase your five-a-day here too.

Aberdeen hosts a number of good quality butchers providing succulent, delicious, local meat including Laidlaw (1-3 McCombies Ct), Thomson’s Quality Butchers (8-10 Market Street) and A&M Butchers (49 Justice Street) just to mention a few.

A great way to support local producers in and around Aberdeen is to visit the Farmers’ Market, which takes over the cobbles of Belmont Street twice a month (every first and last Saturday of the month). Here you will find fresh local vegetables, free range eggs and cheeses. Often you will also come across a lovely bakery unit with a rather satisfying selection of artisan breads, buns and oatcakes…mmm…get those scrumptious cheeses and a bottle of bramble wine from the regional Cairn O’Mohr Winery (East Inchmichael,  Errol,  Perthshire PH2 7SP) for your weekend treat.

For more local food questions and queries contact the Climate Change Project at c.lampkin@abdn.ac.uk.


Fairtrade Fortnight In Aberdeen

 Aberdeen City, Articles, Charity, Community, Events, Featured, Information  Comments Off on Fairtrade Fortnight In Aberdeen
Mar 012011

By Sue Good.

Monday 28th February marked the start of Fairtrade Fortnight and supporters all over the UK will be asked to show off their label, the Fairtrade Mark that is now carried by over 4000 products.
The label guarantees that farmers and growers in developing countries have received a fair price for their goods and for many of them, this makes a vital difference between living and simply existing.

The UK leads the way in Fairtrade and awareness about it is particularly high in Aberdeen. This is due in no small measure to the activities of the local organisation known as the Third World Centre, which has been in existence since 1983.

At the end of Fairtrade Fortnight, the retail part of this organisation, the Fair Trade Aberdeen shop in George Street, will close its doors. Since there are so many Fairtrade products being stocked by supermarkets and given the current recession and rise in rental prices, the shop is no longer commercially viable.

However, there may very well be other ways of continuing the Fair Trade business in the future and there is no suggestion that the organisation will disband. The education department, known as the Montgomery Centre, does an increasing amount of work within the whole of the education sector locally and nationally and the campaigning and administration that maintains Aberdeen’s status as a Fairtrade city is also co-ordinated by the organisation.

Local support for this work is increasingly vital. Fairtrade events have always been held during Fairtrade Fortnight and this year is no exception.

On Friday 4th and Tuesday 8th at the shop we will be inviting people to decorate a flag to add to the Fairtrade Foundation attempt at creating the world record length of Fairtrade cotton bunting. The finished product, with flags from all over the UK, will be presented to the World Trade Organisation’s next meeting in Geneva, encouraging them to consider more urgently the plight of cotton farmers in West Africa.

Please do come along and join us between 10am and 4pm on Friday 4th and Tuesday 8th March at Aberdeen’s Fair Trade Shop, 101 George Street.

For more information about Aberdeen Fairtrade, Click here.