Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Fairtrade Fortnight

Fairtrade fortnight began somewhat early at St John's with a Christian Aid Sacred Space service on the evening of 20th Feb - this was on their Trace the Tax campaign. I keep forgetting to ask how this went but hopefully I'll be able to report on it soon. In the meantime, this Sunday we handed out leaflets with a brief bit about Fairtrade (headed Fairtrade offers 7.5 million people in the developing world a more secure future) and then a collection of Fairtrade recipes to encourage people to bring Fairtrade puddings to next week's bring and share meal. I know Richard was planning to mention Fairtrade in the sermon (as usual I got to the file too late to pick up a copy so am waiting for it to appear on the church website). I was leading Exclaimers so we used the Fairtrade foundation's very useful downloads for a lesson about cotton and then made posters advertising our favourite Fairtrade products. These went up at the back of church afterwards to be admired by those queuing for coffee, surrounding an A4 sheet bearing John Sentamu's words "If you choose to buy the non-Fairtrade product, you are actively choosing to contribute to the poverty of others" which prompted some discussion in the queue. The children took various Fairtrade treats round to offer people afterwards and James was delighted when someone enjoyed the luscious Traidcraft yoghurt raisins he offered so much that they went over to the stall to buy some (thank you whoever that was!) Daniel meanwhile was encouraging people to sign a letter I'd downloaded from the Fairtrade foundation's website to Caroline Spelman regarding unfair cotton subsidies.
Also on the subject of Fairtrade, Reading University library has a display for Fairtrade Fortnight on its ground floor, organised by the chaplaincy with products from the World Shop and they will be hosting both a Fairtrade fashion show next Monday and, something I think looks especially interesting, an opportunity to hear from the Fairtrade Foundation and the Rainforest Alliance about their different approaches which is happening next Tuesday (8th) in Cafe Mondial from 7 til 9 (more info here).

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