On 8th June 2006, Simeon Green MBE, a representative of Fairtrade producers from the Windward Islands officially opened Mondomundi’s first shop in St Martin’s at the Co-op complex. It was highly symbolic as Simeon was in the island to formally present Guernsey with its award of Fairtrade Island status. Mondomundi was set up by Phil & Heidi Soulsby who wanted to run a business that would make a positive difference to the world, and would be run with the very highest standards of ethics and social justice at its core. Things developed quickly, and less than a year later, Sher Ghazi, a fairtrade fruit grower from Pakistan was present during Fairtrade Fortnight 2007 to officially open the second Mondomundi shop upstairs at Guernsey Airport – believed to be the first fairtrade airport shop in Europe. In addition to this, Mondomundi have been steadily growing a trade supply business, providing Fairtrade tea, coffee and other catering supplies to restaurants, coffee shops, offices, schools and churches.
While economic conditions have not been ideal for a new small business, Mondomundi have been very fortunate in having a loyal and committed customer base who are very supportive of our goals and more importantly love what we stock. Equally as important, we have been blessed with a fantastic team of people who work with us, who are also passionate about making a positive difference through our daily work.
Another important element of the business has been developing relationships with key Fairtrade companies and with the Fairtrade Foundation. Mondomundi is now a significant customer for Traidcraft, Divine, Cafedirect and Namaste. Traidcraft for example list us in their top 15 national customers and our purchases from them have gone up roughly 10% each year despite the recession. An annual highlight is the preview event of Traidcraft’s Christmas Catalog, which takes place in September each year, and customers can visit Mondomundi and see the entire range in store before ordering for delivery in October. Visitors from Traidcraft and Divine have also been in the store to talk to customers and provide more information on the benefits that Fairtrade brings to the developing world.
While most people are now familiar with the Fairtrade logo (over 70% of UK adults recognise it) and the main products of tea, coffee, chocolate etc, not everyone realises the enormous range of high quality fair trade goods that are available and very competitive prices. Mondomundi’s range of handbags, scarves, jewellery along with giftware, toys and household items provide a solution to many gift buying problems with unique, unusual and desirable items.
Always willing to be a pioneer, Mondomundi established the island’s domestic battery recycling scheme and remains a main deposit point for used household batteries. During the life of the scheme, more that 5 tonnes of batteries have been diverted away from landfill.
Most recently, Mondomundi have agreed to have their products in Mon Petit Monde, the gift shop in Sausmarez Manor, giving visitors the chance to browse a unique selection of local goods and fair trade items from around the world.