Trev Gregory, is the founding Director of Trade Right International, a social business based in Ghana and Greenock. He has established a unique business model to promote social good through international trade and co-operation. He has a Cambridge Diploma in Theology and has worked extensively in the international charity sector for thirty years.
The main focus in recent times has been to support women in the collection and distribution of nuts from the remarkable Shea tree, which can yield a useful oil with a variety of uses – to supply butter, to create lipstick, to provide ingredients for ‘ready meals’ and more besides. ‘Fair trade’ channels have been used for marketing and distribution. Such development has been very beneficial for women in particular, allowing them to escape bonded labour in a very difficult market-place, which is liable to be dominated by single global companies, such as Mars. Women in co-operatives can now be paid above the living wage, selling a range of balms, shampoos etc. By this means the women escape domination and gain some self-respect. Three and a half thousand families have now secured reasonable incomes. A supporting initiative has been to enlist long-term prisoners from Greenock and Perth prisons in a soap-making project, hand-crafting shea butter into luxurious skincare products.
Over the ten years since these particular developments were launched, a number of other initiatives have been undertaken, returning surplus profits into community development projects. For example, a mortuary has been built (funerals are of great importance in Ghana) and some school equipment has been sent out to provide some education 5-11. The work continues under the leadership of Trev, who is now in his eighties.
Trev came across as a charismatic dynamo who is capable of inspiring many people to help his industry whether it is in working at picking or stirring the fruit or advancing substantial sums of money. His dedication is infectious and made us think. Membersenjoyed his talk.