Prepared meals company, Easy Bean, is claiming a first with the launch of two Fairtrade ready meals.
The products – African Palava and New Mexican Chilli – will be available at 100 Sainsbury’s stores from 18 May 2011 and in selected Waitrose stores, John Lewis and Ocado plus other outlets.
Sainsbury’s is also launching a third product from Easy Bean – Moroccan Tagine. The company’s full range of six meals is available in Waitrose and Ocado.
Easy Bean was established in Dorset in 2007 by Christina Baskerville.
The range, inspired by Baskerville’s work in different countries around the world, promises ‘lunch on the go or supper in a mo’.
The dishes can be eaten as a quick and tasty lunch or added to rice or a jacket potato for an evening meal.
African Palava is a West African hotpot with Fairtrade brown beans, free range chicken, peanuts, sweet potatoes and spinach.
New Mexican Chilli This includes Fairtrade red beans with sweet peppers, tomatoes, spiked with the jalapeño chilli; a combination known in New Mexico as ‘Bowl o’ Red’.
Baskerville and her team of five prepare the food at a converted dairy farm near Castle Cary, Somerset.
“Beans have more fibre than many wholegrains, are virtually fat free and are high in protein. In the UK the broad bean was the most important staple in our diets until Sir Walter Raleigh brought Queen Elizabeth 1st the now ubiquitous potato,” said Baskerville.
Baskerville claims the Easy Bean range of dishes – New Mexican Chilli, Moroccan Tagine, Indian Sambar, French Cuisinées, Spanish Puchero and African Palava – are the original one pot hot meals and began what is now estimated as a £40m category.
“The Fairtrade mark is our company’s most prized badge of honour,” said Baskerville.
“Trading fairly has always been important to Easy Bean. Having worked so closely with the farmers in Africa and Latin America, who grow the crops, and having come from a farming family myself, I know how hard the work is and how vital it is that producers receive a fair deal.”