• rhianprime

Fair Trade Fortnight 22.2.21-7.3.21

For two weeks each year at the end of February and start of March, thousands of individuals, companies and groups across the UK come together to share the stories of the people who grow our food and drinks and who grow the cotton in our clothes, people who are often exploited and underpaid.

"In 2019, we launched our campaign calling on U.K. Government and companies to ensure cocoa farmers earn living incomes by 2030, in line with the UN’s Global Goals to end poverty. During Fairtrade Fortnight 2020 we continued our campaign to raise awareness of the struggles of cocoa farming and to demand living incomes for cocoa farmers.
A living income means enough money to live a simple but dignified life, paying for essentials such as clothing, medicine and school. We believe this is not a luxury but a human right.
Only Fairtrade is campaigning publicly for the right to a living income for farmers – men and women. Only Fairtrade Standards cover:
Price: The Fairtrade Premium and the Fairtrade Minimum Price are driving real change, right now. The Fairtrade Minimum Price provides a safety net that protects farmers from low prices for their crops.
Premium: Fairtrade farmers and workers choose how they spend the Fairtrade Premium, which they can use to make their farms and communities stronger. It also allows them to invest in different ways of making money, so that they are less reliant on the unpredictable cocoa market. Read more about the Fairtrade Premium
Women’s empowerment: Fairtrade is also supporting more women cocoa farmers to take the reins and stand tall alongside men. Fairtrade Standards make sure that they have a voice in their community, are represented in decision-making and benefit from Fairtrade. We know that independent income in the hands of women brings positive change to communities even faster.
Environment: While you can’t protect the planet without protecting its people first, rigorous Fairtrade Standards support farmers to protect the environment and the Fairtrade Premium is enabling them to invest in climate resilience and adaptation."

So this has been taken from the Fairtrade Awareness calendar for 2021 and it aims to inspire us to buy only produce that is fairly produced. We as a Ministry Area are already pledged to being a Fairtrade parish by using good such as tea, coffee biscuits etc which are Fairtrade produced. Now I know that many people do not like Fairtrade produce, but over the years it is much improved and some of the biscuits are delightful. It is wider than just cocoa, sugar and wine, and can meet many of our needs. We are challenged too, to consider not only supporting others fairly as they produce what we so need in our lives, but also how we use the earth's resources.

Maybe we could consider using Fairtrade in Lent and after too. Eleanor MacNarmara orders produce in for the Ministry Area (the parish) and it is sold across all the churches with St Illtud's in more normal times having a Sunday table of goodies. It is an opportunity to think about how, what we buy is produced and if fairly. Is it economically sound, does it treat all as equals, male and female are produce raised in a sustainable manner etc.

Now it is up to you how and where you buy your goods from, but maybe it is a challenge for us to be more aware of others and our planet when we buy a tin of beans or washing powder etc. It is a good challenge for us and allows us to give some time to our thinking and our praying over the next two weeks when we consider the needs of others both overseas and here in Britain and about what we use and why. Are our products always eco friendly or doesn't it matter too much?

Plenty to ponder on!

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