Thoughts from July 2009

guardian angels

We have a group of 16 people at Fruit Towers collectively known as The Foundation Guardians.

This is them pictured below (well some of them)


Angelic, aren't they? Their day jobs span everything from IT to Marketing but they also spend some time looking after the various projects that the innocent foundation supports.

Every year, innocent gives 10% of it's profits to charity, most of which go to the innocent foundation. The Foundation then invests in rural development projects (run by NGOs) in countries where we source our fruit. We have 16 projects on the go at the moment and the Guardians all look after one of them, keeping in touch with the relevant project partners, reporting back to the business on progress, and generally keeping an eye out.

Every now and then, the Guardians all get together to update each other and last week, Catriona Fox (from Find Your Feet) and Peter Ryan (the CEO of the Microloan Foundation) came in to tell us all about microfinance.


Mircofinance involves lending small amounts of money to people in rural communities to enable them to start small businesses and improve their own lives. It's the focus of a number of our projects so it was great to get a really indepth talk from two experts in the field.

They really know their stuff so it was good to be able to hear them describe their work and ask them lots of questions. Plus Sustainability Jess made cake. Which is always essential for a good meeting.

I'm afraid we ate all the cake, but if you are interested in watching the video that Peter showed us it's here...

Watch this space for more Guardian updates, coming very soon.

toast anyone?


To cut down the toast queue, we have got a monster toaster installed in the kitchen


It is only on during peak toast times (8-9:30am and 3pm), is much more energy efficient than using lots of little ones and has provided much excitement all round

Toast anticipation

Especially when you might have ignored the instructions and put it through twice



Crumpets work fine though


Just waiting now to see who tries cheese-on-toast first

friday predictions

The weekend will start at 6pm sharp today.

It might rain this afternoon. It might not.

Tomorrow will definitely be Saturday.

And Mike of London, it's time to sell those cufflinks.


the wonderful world of vending


A couple of weeks ago, we featured Charlie, Helen and Andy's thrilling encounter with a pizza vending machine in France.

Since then, lots of you have sent us in photos and tales of more vending machine magic and we thought it was only fair to share these convenience gems with all and sundry.

So here's a Tony Hart style gallery of our favourites.

First up is this beauty that Tom took and sent to us from Southampton.


Judging by the vending slots, there appear to be just two serving sizes. 'Small' and 'Greedy'.

Lucy found a machine in Amsterdam which sells everything from 'instant' fry ups to fishfinger sandwiches.


Whilst over in Toronto, Frankie found a machine that sold worms.


In Frankfurt airport, you can buy gold.


That's right - solid gold (thanks to Maggie for the link).

And Angie wrote a little lament about the hamburger and chips vending machine that once graced the canteen of her local hospital in Birmingham but alas is no more.

However, the winner for best vending machine photostory must go to Vicki for the state-of-the-art vending potato machine she documented near her home in Leuven, Belgium (which also boasts a brooadautomat nearby which sells bread).

Potato shop

To buy your potatoes, just open the door and pop your money in the machine.


Remove spuds carefully.


And then get your dad to carry them home.


It's open all year apparently.

Handy to know if you ever find yourself with a sudden tuber craving in the middle of the Flemish countryside.