St Bernadette’s School holds Mission of Justice workshops

From 13-15 March St Bernadette primary school in Milton Keynes held Mission of Justice days. To contribute to this, they invited CAFOD in to hold a couple of workshops.

Clive and Cathy – CAFOD Education Volunteers

Fair Trade Workshop

CAFOD schools’ volunteer Clive Gallagher ran a Fair Trade workshop alongside the Fair Trade cafe.  He explained to parents and pupils what Fair Trade was about and how choosing to support it was supporting responsible companies, empowering farmers and protecting the environment. He gave the example of how buying non- Fair Trade bananas gave the average banana farmer under 1p per banana which kept them in poverty whereas buying Fairtrade bananas gave farmers more than double this amount thus enabling them to make a living, provide for their families and live above the poverty line.

It was great to hear that after this workshop, pupils were moved so much as to ask their parents to buy Fair Trade goods, like bananas, in future to help support and empower farmers.

>> Sign the petition to ask Sainsbury’s not to ditch Fair Trade products

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Supporters show their discontent with Sainsbury’s ‘Fairly Traded’ tea

A few supporters met up on Saturday outside the Sainsbury’s Dunstable store to voice their discontent about Sainsbury’s decision.  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’.

Supporters petitioning Sainsbury’s not to ditch Fairtrade tea

Tea farmers in Africa (where Sainsbury’s tea comes from) 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. We are concerned that this new ‘Fairly Traded’ tea, and any products that follow it, could mean an unfair deal for poor farmers.

>> Find out more about Sainsbury’s move away from Fairtrade

Signed Letter to Sainsbury’s store manager

Some supporters of Fairtrade in Dunstable and Luton were keen to do their part in letting Sainsbury’s know that they were not happy about this. They signed a letter to the store manager to ask that Sainsbury revert to supplying Fairtrade tea instead of their “Fairly Traded” tea which was also very confusing for customers.

 

Maureen Borbone, one of our long-standing volunteers, who is a very keen Fairtrade supporter was unable to be attend the event when the letter was handed in to the store due to ill health.  She was however still keen to play her part.

Maureen keen to get all to support Fairtrade

She wrote a short and succinct statement to Sainsbury’s on a sheet of paper and got everyone who paid her a visit to sign it.  With the numerous signatures she obtained, she handed this over to Debbie Purfield (CAFOD coordinator – Northampton) to take along to be handed in to the store manager.

 

Agnes Milne, a keen CAFOD campaigner, explained to other customers about what we were doing and one customer responded, “If Sainsbury’s continues to sell their ‘Fairly Traded’ tea, I will stop shopping at Sainsbury’s!”

Supporters want Sainsbury’s to ditch its ‘Fairly traded’ tea

Debbie Purfield said, “We wanted to have a bigger impact, so we purchased their ‘Fairly Traded’ tea and then returned it asking to speak to the store manager. We then explained to him our unhappiness at Sainsbury’s decision and handed him the signed letters.  The store manager said he understood our concerns and asked us to take it up further but said he would pass on the letters.”

Well done everyone who attended the event and all those who signed the petition! We are all part of the global food system and choosing Fairtrade products is one way we can help tackle poverty!  Thank you for standing in solidarity and speaking out for justice with the world’s poorest communities.

>> Tell Sainsbury’s: Don’t Ditch Fairtrade