2005 - Mary Taylor
Mary Taylor, New Zealand food communicator, revisited three fishing communities in southern Sri Lanka , learning more about their needs and culture, before returning to New Zealand on a fund-raising mission. Her Project Oru 100 raised funds to build 100 outriggers ( orus, pictured), the boats on which the local communities here depended for their chief protein source and income until the tsunami of 26 December 2004 destroyed 80 per cent of them. These funds are administered by the MJF Foundation www.mjffoundation.org the charitable foundation established in 2003 for the disadvantaged in Sri Lanka by Merrill J Fernando of Dilmah Tea which has already achieved a great deal but still needs much more help before the needs of the communities devastated by the tsunami are met.
The runner-up was Viv Menon , a young man whose Anglo-Indian family live near St-Emilion and who has just completed a Wine MBA at Circencester College . His aim is to have a positive influence on India ’s emerging wine culture and to this end the Geoffrey Roberts Trust covered his expenses for a trip to India in November 2005 to improve his understanding of the emerging Indian wine market.