Provincial press releases

Bishop supports Fairtrade tea campaign

The Bishop of Swansea and Brecon is adding his support to some of the world’s poorest tea farmers in a campaign against a supermarket giant.

Bishop John Davies signed Fair Trade Wales’ petition at the Royal Welsh Show this week against Sainsbury’s decision to replace Fairtrade certification on tea with its own ‘fairly traded’ scheme. Tea-farmers and workers in Africa say the move will disempower them as they will no longer control the Fairtrade premium.

All visitors to the Royal Welsh Show in Llanelwedd, Mid Wales, this week are being invited to sign the petition, as well as enjoy a cup of Fairtrade tea at the Cytûn, Churches Together in Wales, tent.

Bishop John signs the petition with Julian Rosser

Bishop John said, “We all love a cuppa but we don’t want the world’s poorest tea farmers to be exploited by our national drinking habit. The Fairtrade certification protects them – it is a powerful brand which is externally audited and which allows farmers themselves to decide how the money they get is used. The danger, too, is that Sainsbury’s move on tea could set a precedent for other products or for other businesses and that could greatly weaken the Fairtrade certification.”

Julian Rosser, national coordinator of Fair Trade Wales, said, “Fairtrade is trusted by farmers, workers and consumers because it guarantees a minimum price for the product as well as paying an extra premium for communities to invest as they choose.

“Sainsbury’s has long been a leader in Fairtrade so we’re disappointed to see it weakening its commitment now. We’re saying loud and clear to the company that we love and trust the Fairtrade mark and we want to see it back on their tea.”

More information about the campaign

The photos show:

  • Bishop John signing the petition with Julian Rosser
  • Bishop John pouring cups of tea for Ffion Storer Jones, Communications Co-ordinator for Fair Trade Wales, and Peredur Owen Griffiths (centre) of Christian Aid