BEING FAIR AT SAINT FAITH'S



 

Did you know only 5p from every £1 we spend on popular branded instant coffee goes back to the farmers and that over 3/4 of instant coffee sold in the UK is from two international companies?

Do You Think That Is Fair?

Did you know that we each eat about 7kgs of chocolate a year!  For every £1 we spend on our most popular brands only 8p goes back to the farmer who grew and picked it?

Do You Think That Is Fair?

We really enjoy our coffee time at St Faith's after the church service but recently some of us were really worried by questions about the coffee and tea we were drinking.  Where and how was the coffee grown, and how much were the growers paid? We began not to enjoy our cuppas quite so much when we realised that twenty five million coffee farmers across the world are facing immense economic hardship because world prices for coffee have fallen drastically? We felt guilty to think that our cups of coffee might have been produced by one of these farmers
 

Now thanks to a resolution of our Parish Church Council we can continue to enjoy coffee break with a clear conscience: at a meeting in 2004 the Church Council made St Faith's a FAIR TRADE church. This resolution may not have seemed very ground breaking at the time of the meeting. But it is not being over dramatic to say that this one decision could make it possible for a community overseas to break free from destitution.  It may have been therefore one of the most far-reaching decisions that our church has ever made.

So What Does Being Fair At Saint Faith's Mean?

Now our stocks of sugar tea and coffee bought from shops which stock brands that bear the Fair trade mark. (seen on our website) We now have a big choice. All our local supermarkets now have Fair Trade products on their shelves. The Cooperative stores were trail blazers in this, but Sainsbury and Tesco have their own brands of Fair Trade coffee and tea.   Tesco shelves now stock Fair Trade sugar direct from the growers in Malawi.  Here is another way of supporting our friends in that poor country. We know that by buying these we are guaranteeing the producers a better deal and a more hopeful future.
 

How Are The Farmers Benefited

The farmers supply organisations accredited by the Fairtrade Labelling Organisations International (FLO), which unites 19 national initiatives across Europe, Japan, North America, Mexico and Australia/New Zealand, all committed to guaranteeing a fair deal for Third world producers.  In addition to being given a guaranteed level of payment for their crops, the farmers receive a premium which they can use to invest in improvement of their working methods. The guaranteed price for their products means they can plan for their childrens' schooling and for health care.

The Fairtrade Foundation

The Fairtrade Foundation (a member of FLO) was established in 1992 by CAFOD, Christian Aid, New Consumer, Oxfam, Traidcraft and the World Development Movement. These founding organisations were later joined by Britain's largest women's organisation, the Women's Institute.

Progress

The first food and drinks bearing the FAIRTRADE mark appeared on shelves eleven years ago and since a quiet revolution has taken place.
More than a quarter of the British public are aware of the Mark. Every week more and more people are realising they can make a positive difference to the lives of farmers and workers in the developing world. Well-known cafes, as well as retailers, are now on board the Fair Trade movement. AMT Coffee Houses, M and S Café Revive use only Fair Trade coffee.

But much remains to be done.  Fairtrade foods still only account for a small proportion of our weekly shop.   Fairtrade is still only benefiting a small proportion of farmers who need it. More farmers need to be reached and to do this we need to reach more shoppers. We need to encourage more places to offer Fairtrade. And encourage more people to choose foods with the Fair trade mark.

Where Can You Buy Fairtrade Products In Crosby?

Why not ask your local trader?  Cards are available from church for you to hand in at your favourite shop to ask if they are 'on board'.

Where Can You Drink Fairtrade Coffee Other Than In Our Church?

CROSSROADS is a Fair trade café - and we are researching other outlets.

How Else Can You Help?

FIRSTLY choose goods that bear the Fair Trade mark - yes it may cost more, but you are helping people change their lives directly in the most effective way you can.  Most of these producers do not want cash handouts.  They want to be helped to make that money themselves.

SECONDLY join the lobby for Trade Justice in 2005 - the campaign has begun - look out for the white arm bands!

Watch This Space For More Information On This One…!

Kathleen Zimak
March 8th, 2005



 

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