Chocolate champion at womens’ lunch

Jo Fairley, the co-founder of Green & Black’s chocolate, was the star of the show at Bedfordshire BusinessWomen’s Club International Women’s Day* lunch.

By The Newsroom
Tuesday, 5th March 2013, 8:00 am

Jo told the crowd of over 70 that she was converted to sustainability while at school but only later fell in love with dark chocolate and launched the now world famous brand.

Bedford College sponsored the lunch which was staged at Shuttleworth College, Old Warden, near Biggleswade.

She knew Anita Roddick of the Body Shop fame who inspired her to bring the business to life, whilst maintaining the Fair Trade principles - doing business while doing good.

Using her skills as a journalist, Jo promoted the product by sending samples far and wide saying: “one square of chocolate was worth a 1,000 words in a press release”. The name was a combination of the green ethics of the manufacturing process and the darkness of the chocolate.

Her advice to businesswomen listening to her was that to run a successful show you need a microscope to look at the detail and telescope to see the bigger picture.

She went on to say she believed practical and vocational education was important to help young people be ready for the workplace - a sentiment applauded by the audience and Bedford College which is a leading provider of both to students from the age of 14 upwards.

Jo further recounted a story of a less than inspiring careers teacher - again a subject close to the hearts of Bedford College which shares information with all young people about the qualifications and qualities required in different job sectors.

Bedford College’s next major event at Shuttleworth College’s Old Warden Park campus is The Apprentice event on March 14 when TV star Ruth Badger will be talking to employers and potential employees about the values of apprenticeships.