Recently, thanks to much hard work by a group of committed individuals, Horndon Church has received its Bronze Eco Church Award and Bulphan has now applied for Silver status. With a few little adjustments, Orsett should soon be able to apply for Bronze.
As part of registering with Eco Church, we have begun having discussions about becoming Fairtrade Churches in our PCCs. The Fairtrade Foundation website says,
Fairtrade is one simple way to spark change – and it starts with our choices. Choosing Fairtrade means standing with farmers for fairness and equality, and against some of the biggest challenges the world faces.
Fairtrade means fairer pay and more power in the hands of farmers, so that they can create change for us all, from investing in climate friendly farming techniques and clean water for their community, to nurturing women leaders and making sure children get an education. When you choose Fairtrade, you’re choosing the world you want to see.
With Fairtrade you have the power to change the world every day. With simple shopping choices you can get farmers a better deal. And that means they can make their own decisions, control their future and lead the dignified life everyone deserves.
When Fairtrade food products were introduced many years ago, they weren’t particularly palatable, but they have moved on greatly now. In fact, all of Marks and Spencer’s tea and coffee is Fairtrade as is that of many of the well-known coffee outlets; chocolate producers such as Cadbury Bournville have taken on many Fairtrade initiatives; most bananas in supermarkets are fairly-traded following pressure to stock them by members of the public many years ago.
In order to achieve Fairtrade Status, as churches, the minimum requirement is to ensure that all of our tea, coffee and sugar is Fairtrade. But there are so many more Fairtrade products available. And, of course, the more we commit to buying the more we are caring for our brothers and sisters around the world. Fairly traded goods include clothes, flowers, cold drinks and juice, biscuits, sweets, snacks, grains, sugar, spreads, oil, wine, beauty products, herbs and spices and even gold.
I do encourage you to look for the Fairtrade logo when you are out shopping and to buy Fairtrade products where you are able. The price may be a little higher, but our purchasing of these products is one way in which we can demonstrate love for our global neighbours.
If you are unsure where to start when buying Fairtrade products, there is a page further on in the magazine with some help and suggestions.
I look forward to seeing you soon.
Take care and God bless,