Monday, 12 March 2012

St Aidan's Fairtrade Big Brew!

St Aidan’s Church, Winstanley invited people to take a step for Fairtrade today and join them at their Big Brew event.  The Fairtrade tea party was attended by local residents and members of St Aidan’s Church congregation.

The Big Brew was part of a national initiative by Traidcraft, the UK’s leading fair trade organisation, which encourages schools, churches, workplaces and other groups to host a Fairtrade tea party during Fairtrade Fortnight.

In addition to their monthly Traidcraft sale at the church, by hosting a Traidcraft Big Brew and raising awareness within the local community, St Aidan’s is helping families in the developing world to flourish.

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.

Margaret Wanjiku and family
For tea farmer Margaret Wanjiku growing tea is now just one of many activities she carries out on her farm in Kenya, which help her to provide for her family. With training from Traidcraft she has learned how to keep bees, to harvest water, change the plants she grows –  and even keep rabbits.

Event organiser Patricia Boyle said, “I first became aware of Fairtrade through my cousin, a priest in Swaziland who helped establish Eswatini Kitchen, a Fairtrade Company that provides a fair and sustainable income for over 300 people."

“We have been selling Fairtrade products in St Aidans for about 9 years. Most of our stock is purchased from Traidcraft and our profit goes to CAFOD both of whom helped in the setting up of the Fairtrade Foundation."

“I'm very grateful to people in Winstanley for their support for the Big Brew and to the CO-OP for supplying goods for a Fairtrade raffle.”

To tackle poverty you need to increase trade as well as give aid. Fairtrade helps 7 and a half million people in the developing world. When we choose to eat, drink or wear fair trade products we help change the lives of millions of farmers, workers and their families in developing countries, like Margaret Wanjiku.

I back the Big Brew because it encourages people in Wigan to consider the power they have as consumers which does play an important part in changing lives for the better.

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