We are promoting Fairtrade in our Parishes, and have recently qualified as a FairTrade Diocese, meaning that more than 50% of our parishes have become involved - this is fantastic news !
Our campaign to become a Fairtrade Diocese began in 2006. The Commission has had support from Bishop Peter, the Diocesan Pastoral Council, and the Council of Priests.
Why was it important to become a Fairtrade Diocese?
At a time when Catholic agencies are promoting Live Simply, the Church asks us to take stock of what we are doing and to reflect on our own position in terms of the development of people. By choosing Fairtrade products, we play our part in enabling farmers and workers to bring about change today in their own lives and communities, as well as sending out a signal for justice in wider international trade. Becoming a Fairtrade Diocese shows that we, as the Catholic community of Northampton, are making a statement that we really mean it when we say that we want to live more justly, in a fairer world. It also demonstrates our solidarity with the poor and disadvantaged rural producers in the developing world and helps show other local communities that we have a practical commitment to helping those in need.
Criteria to become a Fairtrade Diocese and Parish
To gain the status of Fairtrade Diocese, support is needed from as many parishes as possible. To achieve the status each Diocese must meet the following criteria, asking us to commit;
• to support and promote Fairtrade, further encourage the use and sale of Fairtrade products and to serve Fairtrade tea and coffee at Diocesan meetings
• to encourage parishes and deaneries to adopt the same policy, and to display literature advertising the fact that Fairtrade products are used and served there
• ensure Fairtrade tea, coffee and other products, if possible, are used and/or sold by more than a half of the parishes in the diocese
• attract media coverage and continue to raise awareness of the Fairtrade Mark
• set up a Fairtrade steering group to monitor that goals continue to be met and developed.
To qualify for Fairtrade Church status a Church must:
• Use Fairtrade tea and coffee for all meetings and events for which it is responsible
• Increase the use of other Fairtrade products such as sugar, biscuits, juice
• Promote Fairtrade during Fairtrade Fortnight and at other opportunities throughout the year.
So far there are 42 Fairtrade Churches within our Diocese with others working towards gaining the status. Bishops House now serves Fairtrade tea and coffee.
In spring 2014 St Josephs Junior School in Lution became our first Fairtrade School.