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08 March 2011

Fairer Times

Fairer Times

Churches around the country have been holding a whole host of events to mark this year's Fairtrade Fortnight.

The two week campaign, led by the Fairtrade Foundation, has given people a whole host of ideas of how to get the Fairtrade message out with churches and congregations throughout the UK involved.

With this year's focus from the Foundation calling for increased use of fair trade cotton through its Show Off Your Label campaign, congregations have been highlighting how powerful buying Fairtrade can be.

Congregations have held Traidcraft inspired Big Brew coffee mornings as well as selling home made fair trade cakes, honey and wine.

Other churches have hosted talks on poverty and the financial crisis during the campaign that has run from 28 February -13 March.

The Fairtrade Foundation estimates that 7.5 million people will benefit through increased use of fair trade products.  It has challenged those involved in the fortnight to hang Fairtrade cotton bunting outside their homes, schools or workplaces and attempt a Guinness World record for the longest and fairest ever piece of bunting. 

Their aim is to collect 12, 500 decorated flags, one for each fair trade cotton farmer in Mali and Burkina Faso.

Says Alf Hall, secretary at Zion Baptist Church in Trowbridge who held a Big Brew Fairtrade coffee morning:

"We wanted to get involved in Fairtrade Fortnight to reach out to our own community and it says in the Bible that we should remember the poor. We had around 45 visitors, including the mayor of Trowbridge to the morning and people made cakes with Fairtrade ingredients. We also had a quiz on bees and hives as we were selling Fairtrade honey at the event."

In Derby, the city Cathedral and Mickleover Methodist Church have also held coffee mornings with a Fairtrade theme. St Mary's Parish Church hosted a talk on bankers and the food crisis with the World Development Movement, and the University of Derby's chaplain has been holding a Fairtrade photo competition for students.

Aid agency Christian Aid has also provided resources to be used through the campaign with Alliance member Tearfund, running a "three for two" offer on fairly traded goods through their Created website until 20 March.