CELEBRATE WITH FAIR TRADE SUNDAY
The vast majority of Church in Wales churches have pledged themselves to do all that they can to support, promote and shop Fair Trade. But all over the world, the struggle goes on for fair pay, decent working conditions, and proper facilities – like schools, clinics, roads and toilets – for all the communities across the world that provide our favourite treats and staples like tea, coffee, and chocolate.
That’s why we’re encouraging all churches – whether you’ve already signed up to Fair Trade, or not quite got round to it yet – to celebrate Fair Trade with Fair Trade Sunday. This could be one of the Sundays that falls within Fair Trade Fortnight or choose another Sunday if that suits you better. Mothering Sunday, for example, would be a good opportunity to remember the many women who earn their living as Fair Trade producers.
At the same time, Traidcraft are holding The Big Brew – with campaign materials, producer stories, and special offers on tea and coffee – so there’s no shortage of ideas to help you celebrate Fair Trade this Spring.
And if you haven’t signed up yet as a Fair Trade Church, that’s the best way of all to celebrate! Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to find out how.
What does fair trade mean?
The Fair Trade mark on a packet of tea or coffee, a bar of chocolate, a bottle of wine – or even clothes or jewellery! – means that producers pay their workers a fair wage, provide decent working conditions, maintain environmental standards, and treat women fairly. Part of the packet price goes towards investment in community facilities (such as roads or schools) or production improvements (like business training or safety equipment) in the area where the item comes from.
So although it’s not giving to charity, you know you are directly benefitting people with the price you pay.
The Fair Trade mark is a quality standard, not a brand name; so there are numerous varieties to choose from – especially amongst the Fair Trade favourites of tea, coffee, and chocolate. All the main supermarkets stock a range of Fair Trade products, including their own labels – as do many smaller shops.
Products can also be ordered online. (Fairtrade Wales has links to lots of outlets – see http://fairtradewales.com/about/what-is-fair-trade/fairtrade-products.)
THE FAIR TRADE PROVINCE INITIATIVE
In 2012, the Governing Body of the Church in Wales passed a resolution which aims to turn the Church in Wales into a Fair Trade Province – the first one in the Anglican Communion. After 3 years of hard work and campaigning, the Church in Wales was declared a Fair Trade Province by Fair Trade Wales in the summer of 2015.
To become part of it, please complete a Fairtrade Pledge Form for each church, and return it to Revd Carol Wardman, Bishops’ Advisor for Church and Society at 39 Cathedral Road, Cardiff CF11 9XF.
WHAT IS THE FAIR TRADE PLEDGE?
To support and promote Fair Trade, further encourage the use and sale of Fair Trade products, and serve only Fair Trade coffee and tea at meetings for which it is responsible.
Through prayer, worship and study, develop its witness in the area of global justice.
Ensure that Fair Trade tea, coffee and other products are used and/or sold by at least 70% of churches in each Diocese in the Province, and encourage churches to display literature advertising their use of Fair Trade products.
Attract media coverage, continue raising awareness of the FAIRTRADE Mark, and make reference to Provincial and Diocesan Fair Trade status on the relevant website(s).
Set up a Fair Trade Steering Group, to include a representative from each diocese, to take responsibility for monitoring that goals continue to be met and developed, and to report to Fair Trade Wales.
To sign up, simply do the following:
1. Pass a motion at the next PCC meeting either committing yourselves, or re-affirming your previous decision, to making your churches Fair Trade churches. (Model Fairtrade PCC Resolution)
2. Make copies of the Pledge Form and complete one for each church in your parish.
3. Return one copy of each Pledge Form to Revd Carol Wardman.
4. Display copies of the Pledge Form in all the churches you wish to include.
5. Comply with Fair Trade principles by using as many Fair Trade products as you can, and publicising that you do this!
You can download all the information you need to make this a reality here.