CAFOD coordinators from Northampton, Clifton, South Wales, Plymouth and Birmingham dioceses were keen to let Sainsbury’s know how they felt about Sainsbury’s ditching the Fairtrade mark on their own-brand tea. After a regional meeting the group signed the petition and took it to the local Sainsbury’s store.
Sainsbury’s is the largest retailer of Fairtrade products in the UK, they’ve decided to abandon Fairtrade certification on some of their own-brand tea products and pilot their own scheme instead, known as ‘Fairly Traded’.
Tea farmers in Africa have publicly opposed the move away from the Fairtrade mark as it takes away their power to decide where to invest the Fairtrade Premium in their communities.
Debbie Purfield (Northampton coordinator) said, “We are concerned that this new ‘Fairly Traded’ tea could mean an unfair deal for poor farmers and we wanted to stand in solidarity with them and join our voices with theirs.”
The group shared their feelings with the store manager who was keen to know more about Fairtrade. She said she would pass it on to higher management.