|No Storms in the Fair Trade Teacup|
Chiswick Churches for Justice and Peace on the 'coffee bean wars'
Recent rumours of ‘coffee bean wars’ and ‘rivalry’ between two international agencies that independently certify fairly traded goods in British shops were laid to rest at a meeting held in St Michael and All Angels parish hall on 5 September, organised by Chiswick Churches for Justice and Peace.
Products certified by the Rainforest Alliance, particularly timber, flowers, bananas and coffee, bear a logo showing a little green frog. Anita Neville explained how the Rainforest Alliance’s main focus is on land-use practices, long-term sustainable use of resources and the conservation of biodiversity, that offer ethical and environmental solutions and economic opportunities to farmers and forest workers around the world, particularly Latin America.
The Fairtrade Foundation, with its annual Fairtrade Fortnight and its national network of voluntary groups is better known in Britain. Its mark appears on the growing number of over 2000 basic products, from tea and bananas to footballs and cotton, as an independent guarantee that their disadvantaged producers in the developing world are getting a better deal.
The capacity audience heard from Jürgen Müller of the Foundation about how British consumers can contribute to “a world in which every person, through their work, can sustain themselves, their families and communities with dignity”.
The display of cooperation between the two organisations was witnessed by Ajit Matharu, the acting Chair of the Hounslow Fairtrade Borough steering-group. Hounslow achieved coveted Fairtrade Borough status last month.