Churches and other faith groups were instrumental in setting up the movement 25 years ago; and still are in buying, selling and promoting goods after church services, speaking about and praying for Fairtrade in church and wider community events, and engaging in campaigns. (See last section below if you’re not clear what Fairtrade is).
Many of our churches are already registered as Fairtrade Churches in recognition of what you do, and we are committed to becoming a Fairtrade Diocese as numbers continue to grow. The Fairtrade Foundation are now asking churches to recommit to their Fairtrade status so the Foundation has a better idea of the amazing work you’re all doing. Or if you aren’t currently registered this would also be a great time to commit to supporting the farmers and workers that we rely on for some of our favourite products, like coffee and tea!
If you would like to recommit your Church, or even become one for the first time, please email your church’s name and postcode to firstname.lastname@example.org and someone from their office will get back to you to, and send your certificate to display! Please also let us know if you become a new Fairtrade Church so we can celebrate the movement’s growth across the diocese: email Chris Keppie
Buying (as individuals or for churches)
Fairtrade has moved beyond chocolate and coffee – important as they are! Almost all the essentials are now available – biscuits, clothes, gifts, homeware, rice, wine…
Local charity shops and independent retailers are a great starting point; the Christian charity Traidcraft has a very broad range online and local stockists in Devon are found here. Particular products by larger supermarkets etc are also listed on Fairtrade Foundation pages.
Every year the Fairtrade Foundation runs a campaign on a particular theme – in 2020, it’s from 24 February to 8 March. and on cocoa farmers. It’s a key way for churches and others to promote the importance of the movement, and the delicious outcomes all round!
In Devon, there are an incredible number of events happening including multi-school conferences across the county; and open events, many of which based in churches – see programme details here! We’re privileged to have visiting cocoa farmers from Ghana speaking at many of these school and open events, including at St Jude’s church, Plymouth, welcomed by the Archdeacon of Plymouth.
Please see Devon Development Education (DDE) Global Centre for more information about wider local Fairtrade activities, weekly discussion groups, and much more!
What Is Fairtrade?
“Fairtrade is about better prices, decent working conditions, local sustainability, and fair terms of trade for farmers and workers in the developing world.
“By requiring companies to pay sustainable prices (which must never fall lower than the market price), Fairtrade addresses the injustices of conventional trade, which traditionally discriminates against the poorest, weakest producers. It enables them to improve their position and have more control over their lives.
“With Fairtrade you have the power to change the world every day. With simple shopping choices you can get farmers a better deal. And that means they can make their own decisions, control their future and lead the dignified life everyone deserves.”
These are the words of the Fairtrade Foundation, the international non-profit charity. And in Christian language, buying and promoting Fairtrade is one very easy and effective way for us to Love our global neighbours. The Foundation’s website has a wealth of facts, casestudies, educational resources about the objectives, standards and impact of the movement. Do explore it!