Menu

Thoughts from author: Patrick Hill

eat curry, save lives

                              curry for change logo

Last month we blogged about the Innocent Foundation and how we use a portion of our profits to help build sustainable futures for some of the world’s poorest people.

One of the project partners we fund, Find Your Feet, are running a fun initiative throughout June called "Curry for Change".  The aim is to help farmers fight hunger, like those we support in the village of Rahava in Northern India. The simple concept is Eat Curry, Save Lives.

Everyone loves a good curry, so visit the Curry For Change website to see how you can help build a future free from poverty by hosting your own curry night or eating out at an Indian restaurant. Sounds like a fair trade to us.

  curry evening  
Help tackle poverty by hosting your own curry night.

We recently heard from Georgie, a member of the Find your Feet team, who visited Rahava Village to witness the impact of the work being done. She saw how the money used to set up the Vegetable Growers Association (VGA) had helped one lady, Usha, and her family.

  Usha (far left) and her family

Usha said:

"Through the project I have received agricultural training. I am now producing and using organic pesticide and fertiliser which is saving me money and increasing the fertility of my soil. I have also learnt about the importance of multi-cropping. I now plant five crops using this method including traditional crops such as parwal and kundru. I used to have crops for only six months of the year and now I have crops all year round which I can sell. I can now earn as much as 500 rupees (£5.82) a day which is four times as much as I used to make. With this extra money I have been able to build a brick house for my family and send my children to school."

                      VGA vegetable fan
A Vegetable Growers Association supplied van, allowing farmers to transport crops for less.

So go on, poppadom (ahem) down to your nearest supermarket and get your Jalfrezi on. We'd love to hear what you've done to help.

the innocent foundation

innocent foundation

 

We are really proud of the innocent foundation which was set up as a registered charity in 2004. The company had supported community organisations from day one, but as profits grew it felt right to make the commitment to charity more formal.

  pragya village - snowed in for 7 months of the year

(Pragya, Indian Himalayas - residents are snowed in for 7 months of the year) 

How does it work?

The employees, shareholders, EBT and company of innocent drinks give 10% of profits to charity, the majority of which goes to the innocent foundation. In practice this means that the foundation gets a minimum donation of £250,000 each year and the donation gets bigger the bigger the company profit is.

Just like all charities there is a Board of Trustees who are responsible for the charity’s management. They decide how and where the money is spent and make sure the foundation is doing the right things. Our Trustees are the three founders of innocent plus the lovely Christina Archer who has lots of experience of working with the sort of projects we support and brings an external perspective to things. Alan, who also works for innocent, acts as Treasurer for the foundation.

find your feet project

(Vegetable growers, Project Find your Feet - we've been partners since 2004) 

Then we have a team of innocent staff who volunteer their time to keep everyone in touch with what's going on with the projects we support. There are 17 people involved this year.

Finally, there is a foundation guardian whose job is to make sure everything goes smoothly, find great projects to fund and manage the relationships with our amazing partner organisations.

How do we decide what to fund?

The foundation Trustees review the strategy each year and decide how we will work and what we will fund.

In 2012 the focus is on sustainable farming for a secure future, working in the developing countries where innocent sources fruit (we use the UN Human Development Index to decide where the greatest need is).

send a cow - one of our first projects

We like to keep things simple and for the time being the foundation is funding projects run by experts – UK and European based small and medium sized NGOs.

We are really proud of what has been achieved to date. We have had the opportunity to support over 40 projects so far and invested over £1.5 million in projects which have had an impact on over 360,000 lives.  This wouldn't have been possible without you, our drinkers.  Thank you.

We like our funding to be used for leverage where it can be, and our partners have used it to generate a total of almost £6.9 million, which has impacted 530,000 people’s lives.

There are some really exciting new projects coming up, and two of us from Fruit Towers will soon be preparing for visits.  Keep your eyes peeled as we're going to bring you more info in the coming months.