Fair Trade & Trade Justice at Settle
Settle Fairtrade Fortnight Fun-night
How have you been celebrating Fair Trade Fortnight? (25 Feb – 10 March)
Settle folk held a party (Settle Fair Trade fortnight Fun-night) on Saturday 2nd March, at St John’s Church Hall. The Mad Hatters Hat competition with hats made out of Fair-trade product packaging led to much creativity and enjoyment, along with the games “Animal Families” and “Tell Me quiz”. (Settle is in North Yorkshire)
A main aim was games, fun and helping each other, and the event raised 3 issues:
1. Buying Fair Trade Goods – what and where from?
2. Writing to politicians to ask for TRADE JUSTICE not FREE TRADE
3. Raising money to save habitats and our future environment/world.
A superb supper was served with many components being Fair Trade or locally sourced.
Everyone enjoyed the Tasting and Display of Fair Trade goods from local shops:
Growing with Grace, the Coop, Booths, Wholesome Bee, the Traidcraft Shop (10-12 on Tuesdays at the Friends Meeting House) and Dales Angels.
This last shop “Dales Angels” is a new shop in Settle. Rachel Avison-Fell and Vicky Black passed round a selection of Fair Trade goods from India and locally crafted handicrafts from this shop. Alison Tyas showed and sold goods from Traidcraft.
Fair Trade Fortnight raises the issue that for some of the ordinary goods we buy, the producers and farmers receive very little. For items such as coffee or bananas, for a jar/cup/bunch that costs us £1-00, the producer/ farmers/labourers will only get 3p to 1p. (The rest of the money goes to our supermarkets, to the distribution and shipping company and to middle men, and as tax in the UK). Producers of Fair Trade Products are guaranteed a better price; and usually better working conditions and environmental practices. Look out for the Fair Trade label.
As an after dinner speech, Father Tony Boylan gave a short talk on Trade Justice – pointing out that unfair tax rules between rich powerful countries and poor countries, and tariffs and subsidies often make it impossible for poor farmers to sell their products.
Remedying these problems would have a vastly greater effect on reducing poverty and improving living conditions than just buying Fair Trade chocolate. We have a big opportunity now. This year the meeting of the G8 countries (G8 is a group of 8 of the world’s wealthiest countries) is to be held at Loch Erne, Northern Ireland (June 17-18)
and the UK will host it. Fr Tony urged people to write a letter to the Prime Minister and the two government ministers who will attend this meeting, asking for TRADE JUSTICE, not Free Trade.
You can read part of his talk here and see the letter.
Afterwards Judith Allinson of St John’s Methodist Church Settle said:
“£110 has been raised (after expenses). This will go to The World Land Trust to save 1 acre of wildlife habitat in Bolivia (We are sending this as part of Christian Ecology Link’s Rainforest Fund Project). I am grateful to all who helped and all who took part”.
(More pictures available at http://rainforest-save.blogspot.co.uk/2013/03/settle-fair-trade-social-evening-2.html