The Bishop of Swansea and Brecon has added his support to some of the world’s poorest tea farmers in a campaign against a supermarket giant.
Bishop John Davies signed our petition at the Royal Welsh Show this week against Sainsbury’s decision to replace Fairtrade certification on tea with its own ‘fairly traded’ scheme. Tea-farmers and workers in Africa say the move will disempower them as they will no longer control the Fairtrade premium.
Bishop John said, “We all love a cuppa but we don’t want the world’s poorest tea farmers to be exploited by our national drinking habit. The Fairtrade certification protects them – it is a powerful brand which is externally audited and which allows farmers themselves to decide how the money they get is used. The danger, too, is that Sainsbury’s move on tea could set a precedent for other products or for other businesses and that could greatly weaken the Fairtrade certification.”
Fairtrade is trusted by farmers, workers and consumers because it guarantees a minimum price for the product as well as paying an extra premium for communities to invest as they choose. Sainsbury’s has long been a leader in Fairtrade so we’re disappointed to see it weakening its commitment now. We’re saying loud and clear to the company that we love and trust the Fairtrade mark and we want to see it back on their tea.
If you’re heading to the Royal Welsh Show in Llanelwedd, Mid Wales this week, head to the Cytûn, Churches Together in Wales tent to sign the petition and enjoy a Fairtrade cuppa. You can also add your name to the online petition HERE.
Bishop John pouring cups of tea for Ffion and Peredur Owen Griffiths of Christian Aid