St Stephen’s Cinderford is a Fairtrade Church and has been for several years. This means that the church has committed to only using Fairtrade tea, coffee and sugar at all events, services and meetings alongside promoting Fairtrade at events throughout the year. The church also aims to use other Fairtrade products wherever possible and has a well stocked Traidcraft stall on a permanent basis in church.
What is Fairtrade?
Fairtrade is a simple way each one of us can make a difference through our everyday choices. It’s about better prices, decent working conditions, local sustainability and fair terms of trade for farmers and workers in the developing world. The aim is to enable the poorest farmers and workers to improve their position and have more control over their lives.
Fairtrade is more than just a different way of doing business. It’s a unique international movement with a bold and breathtaking mission: to change the way world trade works. It’s about a better deal for the people in developing countries we rely on for our everyday needs. It harnesses the power of shoppers, producers, businesses and campaigners and it’s growing all the time.
The Fairtrade Mark means
- producers have been paid a fair, stable price (covering their costs of production)
- producers have longer-term trading relationships, with more stability
- producers have access to training and skills to develop their businesses
- producers get a little extra, the Fairtrade premium, to decide for themselves how to spend to strengthen their businesses and their communities
- producers in co-operatives always get a democratic say in decisions – women included
- workers receive decent wages
- workers are allowed to join unions
- workers are able to work in a safe environment
Fairtrade Around the Benefice
There is a Fairtrade stall at St Stephen’s which is stocked with a variety of food and gifts from Traidcraft. Traidcraft was established in 1979 as a Christian response to poverty, they aim to build lasting relationships with producers, support people to trade their way out of poverty and work to bring about trade justice.
A variety of events take place around the Benefice during the year in which Fairtrade is promoted. These include the annual Fayres (at St Stephen’s, St Ethelbert’s and St John’s) alongside a variety of events during Fairtrade Fortnight. The All Age Worship 2016 Harvest Service at St Stephen’s focussed on “The Bread of Heaven” and once again a wonderful range of delicious cakes were entered into the BakeOff containing a range of locally produced and Fairtrade produce.
This year, Fairtrade Fortnight takes place from Monday 27 February to Sunday 12 March. Fairtrade and the difference it makes to people worldwide will be celebrated around the Benefice at various events and services. This year’s theme is “It’s Time to Put Fairtrade in Your Break.”
The 11 am services on Sunday 26 February and 12 March at St Stephen’s will have a Fairtrade focus. The St Ethelbert’s 10.30 am service on Sunday 5 March will also have a Fairtrade focus.
The Annual “Big Brew” Coffee Morning will take place on Saturday 25 February at St Stephen’s and include Fairtrade tea/coffee, cakes, light lunches, craft activities, three very well stocked Fairtrade stalls, Traidcraft’s new catalogue to browse along with displays about Fairtrade and product samples. There will also be the Fairtrade BakeOff and a chance to win Fairtrade goodies. Although the Big Brew is slightly before Fairtrade Fortnight officially begins that means it’s also before Lent so plenty of chances to eat cakes! The event will be raising funds for Traidcraft Exchange’s “Let it Grow” campaign.
The three categories in this year’s BakeOff are: “12 of the Same,” “Let it Grow” and “Freestyle.” “12 of the Same” needs to be 12 baked goods that are as similar as possible (think Paul Hollywood and a ruler!); “Let it Grow” is the campaign that we will be raising money for, focussing on providing assistance to smallholder farmers around the world, your cake could celebrate smallholder farms, include a Fairtrade ‘plant’ ingredient, or indeed be baked in a plant pot! “Freestyle” can literally be anything that your imagination can come up with (in baked form!) so pick up any of the ideas that Fairtrade Fortnight is focussing on this year (Fairtrade breaks) or find a new Fairtrade ingredient and base your cake around that or simply celebrate all things Fairtrade!
As the idea behind the BakeOff is to showcase the huge variety of Fairtrade ingredients that are available (many of which are available from the stall at St Stephen’s), judging will be based on how many Fairtrade ingredients are included alongside taste and overall creativity. Prizes will be awarded in all categories for both adults and children/young people. Judging will take place at 11.00 am so please have your entries to St Stephen’s in good time. After the judging the cakes will be sold and the money raised will be added to the total for the event and sent to the “Let it Grow” Appeal. Photos of last year can be found in the gallery.