Trade Justice, Brexit, and Fairtrade Fortnight 2017

Holborn Fairtrade

We had good cause for celebration during Fairtrade Fortnight this year, when the theme was ‘It’s time to put Fairtrade in your break’. We now have 95 parishes signed up to Fairtrade – out of 214 comprising our diocese. Supporting Fairtrade means giving producers from small farms and cooperatives a fair price for their goods, and a chance to improve their lives.

Justice and Peace held 2 gatherings, at St Cecilia and St Anselms in Holborn and at Our Lady Immaculate and St Andrews in Hitchin, on the theme of ‘Free Trade and Fairtrade – Towards trade justice in the Post-Brexit era’. The speakers, Mary Milne and Emilie Schultze, from the development organisation, Traidcraft, explained how many new trade deals would have to be negotiated after Brexit, and that the poorer countries were a long way down the UK’s list of priorities. It is up to supporters to campaign on their behalf, they argued, so that Brexit does not mean that even more cards are stacked against them in the international trade scene.

Traidcraft is the organisation which many parishes order from when they run a stall, and Marion Hill, a ‘Fairtrade trader’ from St Dominic’s parish kindly ran a stall offering their goods. Traidcraft, explained Emilie Schultze, is not only an importing company, but also a charity which supports growers and producers to develop their goods and communities. It is currently running a card campaign to encourage us to contact our MPs and raise the issue of justice for the small farmers who produce the Fairtrade goods we buy, whether at a church stall or in the supermarket.

St John Vianney’s organised a cake sale early in the Fortnight, and raised £300 for fairtrade producers.

If your parish has not signed up, do get in touch and we can send you a pack telling you what is needed.

Sudbury and Fulham Confirmation Groups celebrate Fairtrade Fortnight

Fairtrade workshop (2)

Justice and Peace held a Fairtrade workshop on Saturday to mark the annual Fairtrade Fortnight. Volunteer Anne Lamont and new Justice and Peace youth worker Edmund Dean led an afternoon exploring the reasons Fairtrade is important. Whether it’s tea plantations in Malawi or bananas in the Windward Islands, the young people understood what a difference their choices make in the supermarket. Solving poverty is not just a question of handing money over as charity. It’s paying a fair price for someone else’s hard work. Anne pointed out that supermarkets only stock what we ask for. We need to ask for Fairtrade in our supermarkets.

Go Bananas for Fair Trade!

bananasWe are delighted to announce that Banana producer representative Alexis Palacios from Colombia  will launch the Westminster Diocesan Fairtrade Fortnight celebration on Saturday March 1st 2014 at Holy Apostles Pimlico church.

The Fairtrade Foundation campaign this year seeks to make all  760,000 tonnes of bananas in the UK Fairtrade.  Westminster Justice and Peace meanwhile is trying to persuade all the diocesan parishes to register with Fairtrade, to give the message that they want trade justice for banana growers and all other workers and producers in less developed countries.

This great Fairtrade Fortnight occasion, chaired by Bishop John Arnold, will celebrate the 85 or so Westminster parishes signed up so far, more than any other Catholic diocese in England and Wales. To be a Fairtrade diocese we need another 20 or so parishes to sign up.  There will be a chance to find out how to do this and to obtain our new ‘Fairtrade Spoons’  campaign resource.

As well as meeting  Alexis Palacios, parish promoters will hear from Bishop John, Chair of CAFOD, as to why CAFOD supports Fairtrade, from Sophi Tranchell, managing director of Divine Chocolate and Chair of Fairtrade London, and from Mike Gidney, Executive Director of the Fairtrade Foundation, who will explain the importance of Fairtrade to global trade justice.

Holy Apostles Justice and Peace group will offer a ‘blind tasting’ of Fairtrade and other teas and coffees, to check whether we can really tell the difference!

All are welcome at this free event, but please book as places are limited.