Support Fairtrade by buying ethically and together
we really can change the world...
The Minister’s message
Alan Duncan MP, International Development Minister, speaking at King’s
College, London, on 9 October 2010, said: "Those
who sneer at Fairtrade and think it’s some sort of soppy, trendy
lefty notion are completely wrong. It is a robust economic model which
delivers direct benefits to some of the world’s poorest people.
It injects fairness and sensible economics into business communities
in poor countries, rewarding hard work with a fair price for their produce."
He added: "Let’s not forget
that Fairtrade’s success is really down to the hundreds of campaigners
who have worked tirelessly to get Fairtrade products in their local
shops, cafes, restaurants, workplaces, churches and schools."
LOCATION REPORT: Mabale Growers
This is located on the lower slopes of the Rwenzori Mountains near Fort
Portal in the west of Uganda, the country’s main tea growing area.
It incorporates a tea processing factory and two tea estates that were
previously owned and operated by the state, but were abandoned during
the chaos of the Idi Amin regime and its aftermath in the late 1970s.
They have since been renovated, rehabilitated and privatised under the
government’s smallholder tea programme, giving subsistence farmers
the opportunity to grow and sell tea as a cash crop. The ownership of
Mabale was passed to an association of 1,000 shareholders, 80% of whom
are small-scale farmers with less than two hectares. They depend on
tea for 50-60% of their cash income.
Irene Kijara, 31, has three children, and is a teacher and successful
local businesswoman. She is a larger-scale farmer than the average Mabale
shareholder, running the family’s two tea farms which are six
and seven hectares in size. They provide employment for 15 workers.
She said: "Fairtrade is a very good
benefit to us. It has helped us by building roads, schools, leaf collection
sheds, and a clinic at the factory. And field officers funded by Fairtrade
have helped us improve the quality of our tea."
Our Traidcraft Stall
Many thanks to all who support our stall, on the first Sunday of every
month. We are pleased that many of you come to buy, but we’re
also happy if you just want to look. This Fairtrade Fortnight the
focus product is cotton, so please make time to look at the display
in church. One of the joys of running the stall is reading about the
people who produce the products we sell, which heightens our awareness
of our dependence on others. You may pay a little more, but the quality
is good and with enough people buying something we really can make
How you can help further
• Buy some items from us regularly — and buy Fairtrade
wherever you shop
• Give us an order any time
• Buy a box (usually six packets) of the longer shelf-life products,
such as coffee or pasta.
• Borrow the new Spring catalogue from the back of church
• Remember to look in the catalogue for gifts throughout the
• Make sure your Easter Eggs and chocolate gifts are Fairtrade
The Church’s message
The concept of fair trade is not specifically Christian. Religious
and secular groups joined together to form the Fairtrade Foundation
in 1992 – Traidcraft, Oxfam, CAFOD, Christian Aid and the World
Development Movement. These founding organisations were later joined
by the Women’s Institute. There is, though, a particular Christian
rationale for all whose roots are in the faith and practice of the
Christian Church. Its starting point is that God is the world’s
Creator. As creation, the world must be cared for. Human beings, as
part of creation, are made in the image of God. This gives to each
individual a basic dignity and intrinsic potential. This potential
should flourish, both for individuals and communities. Unjust structures
and practices in society undermine people’s God-given lives.
Through a life poured out in service, Jesus demonstrated the value
of human beings in God’s sight. Jesus did not just talk - he
acted. Christians involved in fair trade work through acts of practical
service rather than explicit evangelism, but nonetheless this is ‘mission’,
following in the footsteps of Jesus. Revd.
LOCATION REPORT: Cotton production
in the Kita region of Mali, pictured on the right, began in
1995. The country is now the largest cotton producer in Africa, employing
several hundred thousand people on 200,000 farms. The producers’
co-operative gained Fairtrade status in 2004 and has used the premium
to build a school and health centre; drill wells; for education and
training; and to diversify into other crops such as maize.
You may already be involved in the fair trade movement; but have you
ever wondered how farmers in the developing world finance their route
to fair and just trade? Shared Interest pools money, invested by their
members, to lend to fair trade businesses in the developing world.
Last year it lent over £33 million in 36 countries. Based in
Newcastle upon Tyne, it has offices in Costa Rica, Kenya and Peru,
and continues to be the world's only 100% fair trade lender. To find
out how you can invest as little as £100 to help realise such
huge global impact, go to www.shared-interest.com or telephone Sally
Reith 077 9582 5442 email email@example.com.
What’s the difference between
Fairtrade and fair trade?
Fairtrade is an accreditation labelling system which certifies that
products bearing the Fairtrade mark meet criteria. International standards
have been developed on a product-by-product basis, and cover a wide
range of food items and cotton. Others will follow. Fair trade expresses
a rather wider vision of development, seeking to transform the lives
of poor producers and covering a much wider range of products than
can be certified, such as craft items. It also embraces campaigning.
What does the Fairtrade Mark guarantee?
• An agreed stable and sustainable price for farmers
• An extra payment (a ‘premium’) to invest in their
Traidcraft v the supermarket
Fairtrade products are readily available in supermarkets. Any product
with the Fairtrade mark delivers a better deal to the farmer, but
pioneering fair trade companies, such as Traidcraft, go further by
reinvesting trading profit in their producers’ businesses. Traidcraft
also brings new products to market, which later gain the Fairtrade
mark – as it did with wine and is now doing with rubber gloves.
Other pioneering fair trade companies include:
• Cafédirect which in five years has invested over half
its profits into farmers’ businesses.
• Divine Chocolate is 45% owned by the Kuapa Kokoo co-operative
in Ghana. The cocoa farmers have a direct say over how the company
is run and share in the profits.
• Liberation (Nuts) is 42% owned by a co-operative of 11 farmers’
groups from eight countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Farmers
have seats on the company board and share any profits it makes
Source: Ann Peterken and Catherine Gash,
The Spire Magazine - 2011 March