It was with great sadness that we recently received the news that Robin Murray, Liberation’s founding Chair, had died. Robin was in his 70s and died of a debilitating and rare lung condition – yet it was not so long ago that he was in our office keeping abreast of the world of Fair Trade to which he made such a powerful and pioneering contribution.
Robin was a radical and free-thinking economist equally at home in the worlds of academia, public sector and business. I first met Robin when I joined Liberation’s founding organisation Twin in 2004 and knew him as the thinker, strategist and driving force that enabled Liberation to come into being in 2007. Robin had also been jointly responsible for the founding of the ever-awesome Twin in 1985, through which he and colleagues would go on to create Cafédirect and Divine Chocolate. Due to lack of knowledge, not to mention space, I can’t even begin to go into Robin’s immense work in other spheres of economic life but luckily others can, for example Hilary Wainwright on Open Democracy.
Liberation’s nut producer shareholders from Bolivia, El Salvador, India, Malawi and Nicaragua remember Robin with great fondness, admiration and gratitude. Fellow Liberation founder and member of cashew supplier and Liberation shareholder, Fair Trade Alliance Kerala, Tomy Mathew, penned this lovely tribute to Robin.
On a very personal note, Robin’s death occurred just days after my own dear mum passed away – strangely, Mum and Robin died of the same rare condition, Pulmonary Fibrosis. It’s extremely hard to say goodbye to people that we have loved, admired and respected. Liberation salutes the marvellous man that Robin Murray was, and his memory shall live on in many ways, not least through Liberation Foods.
Peace, love and peanuts,