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Join us in Ghana

On the long car journey from Cape Coast to Kumasi my driver, guide and guru Samuel and I were joined by Thomas, who had been my guide at Cape Coast Castle. As a professional historian and tour guide Thomas has his ear to the ground with the historic sites in Ghana which tourists visit. We were travelling through verdant landscapes - climbing slowly into the distant mountains covered with rainforest. We had left behind the white sandy beaches of Cape Coast - beaches lined with coconut palms and almost completely deserted almost all the time. Beach front bars and restaurants - where I hustled a friend of Samuel's at "snooker" (8 ball pool) - stud the coast with almost no customers. Ghana is a breathtakingly beautiful country. It is almost ridiculously idyllic. There is something for everyone, whether you are looking for a lazy beach holiday, a rainforest trek or a cultural experience. I had a mixture of all three.

Thomas told me that around 70% of all the tourists who come to Ghana are from the African diaspora - African-American and African-Caribbean people who are descended from the enslaved people who left the coast of Ghana in ships, losing their name, culture and identity in the process. This is a vital and valuable service, and sites like Assin Manso provide rituals to help the healing journey for people looking to understand their family history. But Ghana has so much more to offer to tourists from other demographics. The history of the Transatlantic Slave Trade is all of our history. Sites like Elmina and Cape Coast Castle shouldn't just be visited by people whose ancestors were enslaved, but by those of us descended from white Europeans whose current standard of living, cityscapes like Liverpool and Bristol and access to cheap sugar, tea and chocolate owe a debt to the millions of enslaved people who were subject to the Middle Passage. As I listened to Thomas an idea was forming in my mind. It had been a real challenge to organise my trip. It was only possible because of all the contacts I had made in recent years due to my involvement in campaigns around the chocolate industry. I had one to one support from people like Bruce Crowther and Sophi Tranchell - legends of fair trade who have spent so much time in Ghana thinking and talking about cocoa. Apart from my flight for every stage of the trip I relied solely on Samuel's contacts and having the WhatsApp number of the person who could help. When applying for my visa I was constantly sending WhatsApp messages to Judith Crabbe - the Africaniwa in-country rep and my host in Sakumono - who was able to send me all the paperwork I needed. When trying to book the Co-operative House at New Koforidua I was part of a WhatsApp group which included the Chief and various elders of the community. It's clearly not feasible for everyone to book a holiday that way. You may already see where I'm going with this.

When we got to the co-operative house in New Koforidua - where I had determined to wake up on the morning of my 50th birthday - all I could see was potential. It's a lovely three bedroomed house with a large central area, kitchen, bathroom and loo. Properly configured it would be comfortable for up to twelve tourists. It's not luxurious, but it gives a flavour of life in a cocoa growing community in rural Ghana and that's the whole point. If the residents of New Koforidua are to take advantage of the opportunities offered by being Africa's first fair trade town it needs to be easier for fair trade campaigners and supporters to book and easier to work out how to visit the country and what else to do. I had managed to build an itinerary that worked for me, and I wanted everyone to have the opportunity to do the same. All's Fair Tours was born.

I had been operating as a sole trader selling fair trade crafts and gifts for many years under the brand All's Fair. But in order to operate as a social enterprise I wanted to do it properly so I set up All's Fair Tours Ltd as a limited company (Registered company number 08150913) and embedded our social mission in the structure of the business. Along with business partner Samuel, our mission is to link fair trade campaigners and supporters with farmers and workers, to offer opportunities for economic empowerment to the people of New Koforidua and other fair trade communities. We will offer a trade justice tour of Ghana and the first one will be starting at Easter 2023.

Join us next Easter in Ghana for a once in a lifetime opportunity for fair trade campaigners and supporters. We'll discover Ghana's special place at the heart of trade justice issues, stay at the Co-operative House - purpose built for fair trade campaigners to immerse yourselves in a Fairtrade cocoa growing community. Our seven night tour is themed around trade justice as we explore the history of the Transatlantic Slave Trade and the Gold Coast's colonial past as well as Ghana's independence movement and the impact of Fairtrade on cocoa farmers and workers. We'll take you along the coast - a UNESCO World Heritage Site - to visit the slave forts at Cape Coast Castle and Elmina, the slave river and market at Assin Manso and the colonial centre at Kumasi before spending three nights in the co-operative house at Africa's first fair trade town - New Koforidua. You will spend a day with a Fairtrade cocoa farmer and their family, and meet the Chief and elders. * Tuesday 4 April - (optional collection from airport) and stay at hotel in Accra * Wednesday 5 April - Pick up from hotel in Accra and drive to Cape Coast. Visit Cape Coast Castle and Elmina Fort. Overnight stay in Cape Coast * Thursday 6 April - Visit to Kakum rainforest to discover more of Ghana's flora and fauna on the canopy walk. Overnight stay in Cape Coast * Friday 7 April - Drive to Kumasi with a stop at Assin Manso slave graveyard - visit Military Museum and Commonwealth War Grave. Overnight stay New Koforidua * Saturday 8 April - Spend the day with a cocoa farmer and their family - Overnight stay in New Koforidua, * Sunday 9 April - optional Easter Sunday Church service - visit to Shahamana farms - Overnight stay in New Koforidua * Monday 10 April - Drive back to Accra - visit Fairtrade funded craft market - Overnight stay in Accra * Tuesday 11 April - Optional (additional charge) Visit to FairAfric chocolate factory or to Golden Exotics Fairtrade banana farm. Optional extra night in Accra hotel (additional charge) and/or airport drop off) Price per person for seven nights: £1,000 The price includes all accommodation, food, transport in Ghana, admission fees to all historic sites, services of tour guides and driver. There are eight places available for this our first tour and you will be accompanied throughout the tour by long standing fair trade campaigner Joanna Pollard, former Chair of the UK's Fairtrade National Campaigner Committee and Samuel Fianu who for many years has been fair trade legend Bruce Crowther's main contact in Ghana. We will provide all the paperwork you need to apply for your tourist visa and practical, health and cultural advice about visiting Ghana to help you prepare. You will be responsible for arranging your own flights or other transport into Ghana, travel insurance etc. but we will be available to offer support and advice. To express your interest in joining us on this tour please complete our contact form

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