Fairtrade, the concept that workers and farmers in the developing world should have a decent return for their labour, and not live in poverty, has strong Christian roots. 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.

Holy Trinity Church is a Fairtrade Church, approved by the Fairtrade Foundation, custodians of the coveted Fairtrade mark. This means that the PCC have agreed that the church will:-

•  Use Fairtrade tea and coffee after services and in all meetings for which they have responsibility

•  Move forward on using other Fairtrade products such as sugar, biscuits and fruit

ª Promote Fairtrade during Fairtrade Fortnight and during the year through events, worship and other activities whenever possible.

There is a very long history of support for Fairtrade at Holy Trinity and the church have supported Traidcraft, the UK’s principal Fairtrade supplier, since 1986. There are now two regular Fairtrade stalls in St Paul’s Room after most 10 am Sunday morning Sung Eucharist services, a Traidcraft stall, and an African Kitchen stall. These are both run by a team of volunteers, and Holy Trinity’s congregation are very fortunate to have such a wide range of Fairtrade goods so readily available. More volunteers are always welcome, and please contact Lorna Renshaw (Traidcraft) or Lucy Penn (African Kitchen) if you can assist.

Much more information is available from the following websites:-

Traidcraft www.traidcraft.co.uk
Fairtrade Foundation www.fairtrade.org.uk
African Kitchen (JTS, Just Trading Scotland) www.jts.co.uk

Traidcraft Big Brew

Following the successful events of 2017, 2018 and 2019 the Traidcraft ‘Big Brew’ event was repeated on Saturday 7 March 2020. Once again any cakes  left over from the Saturday were available to the congregation on the Sunday for further donations.

But little did we know that within days we would be hit by the first of a series of national lockdowns and other restrictions due to the worldwide Covid 19 pandemic. The Big Brew made £280, but this would have been more had the church remained open for further donations. Nevertheless the church Traidcraft group decided to make this up to £1000 from the accumulated balances from Traidcraft sales over a number of years. Traidcraft Exchange were delighted as, like all charities, their fundraising activities have been badly hit by the pandemic. In turn the pandemic has badly affected the livelihood of the communities Traidcraft Exchange support in the developing world.

We now turn to Fairtrade Fortnight 2021. Plans were well advanced. You know the drill. You make the cake, donate it to the Traidcraft Big Brew, and  pay for someone else’s lovely Fairtrade cake, baked by the famed Westbury on Trym Bakers, already overdue for their very own edition of Bake Off, no soggy bottoms here. All proceeds, ignoring the claims that it sounds like a Ponzi scheme, it’s for a good cause,  go to Traidcraft Exchange for its work in the poorest communities of the world, helping them achieve a fair return for their labour and gain basic facilities in, for example,  education, healthcare, water supply and sanitation. But, and it’s a big But, there’s still  a pandemic, and another national lockdown. This makes Traidcraft Exchange’s work even more necessary, whilst cruelly decimating their ability to raise funds, like all charities. So, instead of the usual Fairtrade Fortnight events, Traidcraft Exchange are asking supporters to delay holding  Big Brews until the 8th March – 7th June… because thanks to the UK Government’s UK Aid Match scheme, by waiting those few weeks, your donations will change twice as many lives.

This brand new match-funded appeal will help thousands of people in poverty fight the devastating effects of climate change. And Traidcraft Exchange  are going to celebrate with a ‘new’ event – the Big Brew – Easter! (NB Faitrade Easter Eggs will need to be ordered from Lorna Renshaw as usual)

All donations made to the appeal between those dates will be matched by the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office.

In addition to this fantastic news, we very much hope that, in terms of coronavirus, the world will look a little different come late Spring – and what better way to celebrate than with a Big Brew!?

If Fairtrade Fortnight is a date fixed in your calendar, don’t worry. Another cunning scheme – you bake a Fairtrade cake as before, but this time you eat it yourself, along with a delicious cup of Fairtrade tea or coffee, and make a contribution to Traidcraft Exchange for the privilege. You may wish to defer that contribution to the Easter event, and we all hope and wonder how life will be then? Meanwhile, if you wish to donate earlier, you can through this link https://action.traidcraft.org.uk/donate  , but please, not earlier than 8th March so you can double your donation.  Please contact Ken Pattison if you are unable to donate online and wish to.

Many thanks to all at Holy Trinity for their support for Fairtrade.

Ken Pattison (email:  kenandjo@pattisonfamily.co.uk)

Ros Saunders being presented with prizes for achieving the best score in the Big Brew 2019 Quiz – a bottle of Fairtrade Argentinian Malbec and a box of Fairtrade Prosecco Truffles. Both prizes were courtesy of the Stoke Lane Co op as part of their generous support for our Big Brew event.

Big Brew

Ken Pattison presenting the Find the Chicken prize, two Divine Chocolate bars, to Allison Bolster by the regular Traidcraft stall on the last Sunday of Fairtrade Fortnight at the event in 2017.