We are a Fairtrade parish. Read on for information about Traidcraft, what the parish and diocese are doing and the benefits of Fairtrade.

The monthly Traidcraft stall at St John the Divine

The stall is open after the service from about 1200 every 4th Sunday.

Our Fairtrade representatives can order goods for you from the Traidcraft catalogue and would very much like to hear your feedback. For more information contact:

  • St John’s – Mary Ricketts 8892 3690
  • St Mary’s – Jackie Harrison or Sarah Percival 8948 2422
  • St Matthias – Guy Cowley 8948 0995

 FAIRTRADE and the Richmond Team Ministry

In 2005 the Southwark Diocesan Synod agreed to work towards becoming a Fairtrade diocese. The Fairtrade Foundation officially recognises a diocese as Fairtrade if 30% of its churches pledge to use only Fairtrade coffee and tea. However, Southwark has chosen to follow other Dioceses’ examples and aim for 60% of churches and all diocesan offices.

In 2006 the Richmond Team Ministry PCC pledged our support to the Diocese and agreed:

  • to serve only Fairtrade tea and coffee whenever providing refreshments,
  • to endeavour to use other fairly-traded items wherever possible,
  • to encourage the use of fairly-traded items amongst the congregation,
  • to support the principles of ‘Trade Justice’ and ‘Make Poverty History’.
  • to introduce related initiatives particular to the church or office, as appropriate.

But what is Fairtrade all about?

“A world freed from the scandal of poverty, where trade is just and people and communities can flourish”

Justice. Fairtrade is an organised social movement that promotes equitable standards for international labour, environmentalism, and social policy in areas related to the production of labelled and unlabelled goods, which may range from handicrafts to agricultural commodities. The movement focuses in particular on exports from developing countries to developed countries.

Fairtrade aims to address the plight of marginalised producers across the world by paying a price that more than covers the cost of production and is guaranteed not to fall below an agreed minimum (so protecting producers from the volatility of world markets). Additionally, a premium is paid for investment in the community, in social or economic development projects. Contracts are longer term, often with part payment up front, to provide security and enable planning so that workers can move from a position of vulnerability to security and economic self-sufficiency. It aims at empowering them to become stakeholders in their own organisations and actively play a wider role in the global arena to achieve greater equity in international trade.

Fairtrade producers must meet certain standards, too. Producers are organised democratically, such as in a co-operative, and achieve good labour standards, including no forced or child labour. Quality and environmental standards are also met, ensuring consumers are guaranteed high quality products. Fairtrade products are grown by small farmers or plantation workers, who pick their crop with care. They are passionate about the quality of their produce, their way of life, and their families.

Fairtrade certified quinoa producers in Ecuador

The problems experienced by poor producers and workers in developing countries differ greatly from product to product. Most coffee and cocoa, for example, is grown by independent small farmers, working their own land and marketing their produce through a local co-operative. For these producers, receiving a fair price for their beans is more important than any other aspect of a fair trade. Most tea, however, is grown on estates. The concern for workers employed on tea plantations is fair wages and decent working conditions.

The Fairtrade mark is an independent consumer label which appears on products as an independent guarantee that disadvantaged producers in the developing world are getting a better deal. Look for it.

Traidcraft is a founder member of the Fairtrade Foundation and the UK’s leading fair trade organisation dedicated to fighting poverty through trade. It was established in 1979 and offers the widest range of fairly traded products available in the UK. It also provides an innovative development charity, Traidcraft Exchange, specialising in making trade work for the poor. One of the easiest ways for all of us to support the fair trade movement is through supporting the Traidcraft stalls in our three churches.

I buy products with the Fairtrade logo in supermarkets. Why should I buy them from church? Please do continue to buy Fairtrade products wherever you see them. It all helps to support the producers. But if you buy from the church stall more of what you pay also goes to fund development and advocacy projects supporting trade justice in the Third World.

Fairtrade goods are cheaper in Waitrose and Tesco. We aim to break even. We charge prices at cost or only a few pennies above that to cover administration. Supermarkets, of course, can negotiate discounts that reflect their distribution and sales impact.

I do buy Traidcraft goods, but more out of duty than preference. Thank you. And please tell us if you are not happy with something you try. We want you to enjoy Traidcraft products. There is now a wider selection of coffees and teas, fruits and nuts, etc, and if we hear your comments we can both change what we stock and feed your views back to Traidcraft.

Traidcraft is a Christian response to poverty. It expresses Christian principles in its policies and activities, especially the principles of love, justice and service, which were lived and taught by Jesus. Working in partnership with the poor, disadvantaged and marginalised, whatever their creed, Traidcraft works together with all those who share a commitment to fighting poverty, whatever their faith. Traidcraft recognises that poverty has spiritual and moral as well as material dimensions.

As trade impacts on the life of everyone, it can provide the most sustainable way of overcoming poverty.  Human enterprise is one of the world’s richest resources; through it everyone can be fed and clothed – but only if the benefits of trade are shared.

Over the next five years Traidcraft aims to increase its impact on poverty by trebling the value of purchases from fair trade suppliers in the developing world and by trebling the volume of its charitable project and advocacy work. It would be heartening if we in Richmond could treble the amount we spend on Traidcraft products and the support we give to trade justice through this activity.

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