Fair Trade - A 20th Anniversary Celebration
Five local groups held a walk in Chiswick last weekend
For more than 10 years CCJP (Chiswick Churches for Justice and Peace) has been in the forefront of the campaign to promote Fairtrade and has been involved in encouraging all Churches in Chiswick to sell only Fairtrade goods. Now they all do this and Hounslow is a Fairtrade borough.
Simon Rodway (standing) introduces Mary Macleod MP
Our MP, Mary Macleod then officially opened the event where nearly 50 people came and we had talks from Charities involved. Jonathan Smith, the Head of Campaigns at the FT Foundation described the history of the movement and how we needed to set a moral baseline for the market and for regulation by the government. What we are aiming for, he said, was a decent return for the farmers and a decent life for all of the workers. He said that the farmers needed more goods to be sold and that we should look at the structures that keep people poor. We then saw a film celebrating 20 years of Fairtrade.
He was followed by Clare Paine, the London Church Coordinator for Christian Aid, who talked about the Christian perspective on trade justice. She spoke about the value of the FT logo which is, for example, used on all Mars bars. They contain only FT cocoa.
Finally Charlotte Borger, the Communications Director for Divine Chocolate told us how many more shops were selling Divine chocolate and how the distribution had increased enormously. 45% of the Divine chocolate brand is owned by the farmers.
We then saw a fascinating film made by the children in Ghana about the cocoa farms and how the beans are collected.
After the talks people mingled and were able to try the different flavoured chocolate and make a written assessment of their favourites. We then tried other FT goods as well as Cooperative FT wines, which were kindly donated.
The whole event was organised by one of our committee members, Ros Lister, from St Michael and All Angels Church. We are very grateful to her, to Peter Moore from Brent, who chaired it, and to all the other volunteers who helped make the afternoon a great success.