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Thoughts from April 2008

at Sandra's request

the innocent AGM

One of the many inspired AGM questionnaires we had back a week or so ago was this one from Sandra.

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As it's AGM week over here at Fruit Towers, and the theme of the day is listening to our drinkers, we thought we make a start with Sandra's requests.

more fun labels
Tick. Have a look at our Ben's latest offering on our new big thickies. It's one in a series, so look out for the others.

Steve


more yoghurt based drinks
Two birds with one stone, Ceri has already formally introduced them but please say hello again to our new big thickies, particularly the yoghurt, mangoes, peaches & passion fruits one which is newer than something that you're yet to knew know.

Big_thickies

more trees
Tick again. Ceri had the scoop on this one as well but just to let you know we are officially running Buy One Grow One Tree again from today. It might take a few days for the special packs to reach your local shops though.

This time we're letting little people in on the fun as well with special version of our kids cartons and multi packs (pictured below) along with an exclusive kids version of the website featuring a nature trail and stuff.

Grow_one_tree

OK, it was probably just good timing, but thanks Sandra. Have a look here and here to see what she's got planned for us next.


big, thick and creamy

My granny used to say, "My false teeth are giving me trouble." She also said "If you don't ask, you don't get." And sometimes, even if you ask very nicely, you still don't get.

But you asked us to make our thickies in bigger bottles and we've delivered.

So please say hello to our new, big yoghurt thickies.

Newbigyoghurty

They're full of the same good stuff as our little thickies, like low fat yoghurt, oats and fruit. They're just that bit bigger (three times to be precise) and you get a better bicep workout drinking them.

Of the three cracking recipes, you might recognise two of our old favourites - yoghurt, vanilla bean and honey and yoghurt, oats, raspberries and blueberries - from our smaller thickies. But there's also a brand spanking new one for you to try which we've called yoghurt, mangoes, peaches and passion fruits.

Our Eleanor invented this new recipe and describes it as being like 'a tropical tapdance on your tongue followed by the final, slow dance at the yoghurt disco'.

Dairy_pinup

Interesting tasting comments and kitchen wizardry aside, she also had to read a very exciting book about milk to make this new recipe.

Milk_book

Thankfully, our new thickie tastes a million times better than the chapter on 'Milk prodution as an activity of man' sounds.

Our new big thickies are now available in Tescos and Ocado and you'll find them alongside the milk and yoghurt drinks, on the way to the cheese counter.

it's up to you

the innocent AGM

We're nearly there. The AGM is just four days away, and Fruit Towers is a-buzzing with excitement. Desks are being tidied, big packages are arriving by the lorry load, and the chill out area is being cleared to make room for all the oversized bean bags.

We'd like to say thank you very much to everyone who submitted a question for the Q&A; now it's time to choose the final five. Just follow this link to a simple survey, and pick your top five questions out of the list of twenty. These questions will be read out at the AGM at the beginning of our Q&A session, before we open the floor to everyone else.

The survey is going to close at midday on Thursday (24th April), so you'll have to be quite quick. And as we said before, we'll be answering every single question that was submitted the week after the AGM on our website, so watch this space.

one week to go

andrew in malawi

Hello lovely blog readers.

I have one week to go before I head off to Malawi, so thought I'd update you on my progress so far - less cheesy photo than earnest attempt to let people know our plan.

The main aim of sending someone from innocent out to one of the projects we support is to see first hand how the foundation money is being spent. On top of that, it's a great opportunity for us to see things at ground level and to try and bring some expertise to what the Microloan Foundation (MLF) are trying to do out there. The work they have done so far is amazing and follows a "social business" model which this year will impact almost 8000 families in Malawi.

Mimap

So how exactly am I going to help?

I currently work as a production person at innocent - making sure we plan to make enough smoothies for when we need them as well as helping to improve our production processes. While I'm in Malawi, my hope is that I can use some of my own knowledge (along with the combined expertise of my excellent colleagues at Fruit Towers) to help out in some way. I'll be looking at everything from improving the way fruit is handled to understanding the costs of production and looking at new opportunities for the project in the local market. To this end, apart from the mozzie lotion, rehydration salts, footballs and first aid kit I'm taking with me, I've also been speaking to our juice experts in Fruit Towers as well as our sales and marketing people to pick their brains for advice.

So what's the plan?

The plan is to fly into Lilongwe and then head down to Blantyre. I'll then go up to the juice factory producing the juice for the local market, which is close to a town called Michembo. This juice-making project forms part of MLF’s MicroVentures programme, an initiative which focuses on training clients in higher value business skills. Once there, it's going to be all about checking out how the juice is made and suggesting improvements - I'm a bit nervous about it but really excited at the same time.

Expect more from me in the next few weeks. I'm guessing it will come in fits and bursts (depending on where internet access is available) but you can follow my updates on the section at the bottom right of this blog, imaginatively titled "andrew in malawi".

That's it for now. Have a super week - 5 days and counting till take off.

Andrew D