Fairtrade Fortnight started on February 26th and closes on March 11th. So it is not too late to celebrate! Although we were very disappointed that Sainsburys have abandoned the Fairtrade label for their own brands, you can still find some Fairtrade tea in the higher end category, Taste the Difference, as well as the various filter coffees. Sainsburys have, in the face of the tea protests, perhaps, committed to keeping their Fairtrade bananas, which is excellent news for the small Windward Islands such as St Lucia and Dominica. Aldi’s and Lidl have some great Fairtrade chocolate, and Waitrose continue their Fairtrade commitment.
Here in the Westminster Diocese, we can count an amazing 103 parishes which have signed up to Fairtrade justice for producers. They serve Fairtrade tea and coffee at parish functions, promote Fairtrade in other ways, and hold an event once a year to celebrate it. This CAN be during the fortnight, but also can feature at other times. No time is a bad time to publicise Fairtrade. With only a handful, FIVE, more parishes, we can qualify to be a Fairtrade diocese. Maybe your parish is on the brink of signing up. TELL US ABOUT IT!
And if you still haven’t organised a celebration, just have a Sunday coffee morning or a Saturday tea party. Other ideas through the year are liturgies, films, talks, games, or cake sales, as in my own parish.
Lobbying: less developed countries are at huge risk as all our trade deals are being renegotiated. Find out what is happening to tropical products in course of our Brexit negotiations. Producers of sugar, cotton, metals, cocoa, may all be at even more risk in the months and years to come. Ask MPs about trade with poorer countries post – Brexit. Traidcraft have a campaigning department which can help with the facts. www.traidcraft.org.uk