Not our cup of tea: CAFOD Salford takes action at Sainsbury’s

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Staff and volunteers from the CAFOD Salford office recently visited Sainsbury’s, Heaton Park, to deliver a petition to the store manager.

CAFOD’s latest campaign action is targeting Sainsbury’s in response to their decision to move away from the Fairtrade label on some of their tea products, replacing it with their own ‘Fairly Traded’ tea. We are concerned that this could result in unfair deals for poor farmers. The Fairtrade Foundation has said that 229,000 farmers would be affected by Sainsbury’s proposed change, which is why it is so important to get involved and tell Sainsbury’s: Don’t Ditch Fairtrade!

The campaign is simply asking if you could get a photo taken in front of your local Sainsbury’s by downloading the tea mug prop. You could also follow this up by signing and giving over the letter to the store manager. Fairtrade and tea are two things that we feel particularly strong about in the Salford office, so we we happy to take the trip down to Sainsbury’s to pass on our concerns.

Volunteers from all over Manchester signed the campaign letter and we took our CAFOD banner, and tea mug prop down to Sainsbury’s.

Vin Allerton, a CAFOD volunteer and diocesan Fairtrade co-ordinator, asked to see the manager so that he could return his box of ‘fairly traded’ tea and explain our disappointment.  Unfortunately, the store manager was unavailable on this occasion, but we were promised by a customer services assistant that our concerns would be passed on.

Vin Allerton said: “I just think that Sainsbury’s decision will undermine the Fairtrade logo, and cause confusion. It’s a step in the wrong direction and we think it should be reversed.”

Ann Wilson, CAFOD’s local representative, added: “Buying Fairtrade tea is a proven way to make a difference every time we drink a cup of tea, and the action by our CAFOD volunteers shows the mark is widely supported in Manchester and indeed, across the country.

“Sainsbury’s has been a leading retailer of Fairtrade products, making a real difference to the lives of tea farmers and their families in some of the world’s poorest countries. We’d like them to reconsider this decision to remove the Fairtrade mark from their own-brand tea.”

We enjoyed getting out of the office and getting involved with this campaign, and it’s so easy to do.

See what you can do to get involved, and if you do we would love to hear about it in the Salford office!

St Anne’s Primary support Power to Be

Recently we’ve been visiting schools and parishes to share the news of CAFOD’s Power to Be campaign, which believes that every child can, and should be able to, achieve great things.

One in six people across the world live with no electricity and so we are calling on the World Bank’s UK representative, Melanie Robinson, to pledge investment into local, renewable energy that can transform lives.

St Anne’s Primary School, Audenshaw, have been showing their support for the Power to Be campaign with their very own schools visit from CAFOD volunteer, Briege Sivills.

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Children listening to Mrs Sivills’ assembly on CAFOD

The whole school had the opportunity to learn about CAFOD’s work around the world in an assembly, learning that worldwide one in ten people live in poverty.

The year sixes were then able to take part in a workshop, which taught the children about CAFOD’s Power to Be campaign and how some children across the world are sometimes unable to reach their true potential due to poverty and a lack of renewable energy.

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Children at St Anne’s writing to the world bank on their Power to Be sun rays

The class then wrote their messages to Melanie Robinson, the UK representative at the World Bank, encouraging her to invest more money into providing safe, renewable energy to people across the world.

CAFOD volunteer, Briege Sivills, said: “The school were delightful and the children really engaged in learning about CAFOD’s work.

“I presented the assembly stood by one of the school’s display boards, which said the word ‘justice’, which is exactly what CAFOD is about.

“The children will be continuing to support the Power to Be campaign by signing action cards.  Thank you to all the children and staff at St Anne’s!”

Miss Freeley, who co-ordinated the visit, added: “Mrs Sivills shared with us the harvest theme, ‘Brighten Up.’

“She then told us that when we raise money for CAFOD the money goes on training, safe spaces, education, small businesses, sharing skills and support.

“Thank you for coming in and sharing all about CAFOD with us!”

Find out more about our latest campaigns

Julie Cooper MP meets church group, speaking up about climate change

Members of St John the Baptist’s CAFOD Group recently met with Julie Cooper MP at her constituency clinic in Burnley to urge her to take action on climate change.

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Members of the CAFOD group with Julie Cooper MP

Asking her to help empower communities and households to enjoy cleaner, healthier lives here in the UK and overseas, members of the group encouraged Julie Cooper to write to the Prime Minister to urge her new government to:

  • Reaffirm the UK’s role as a global climate leader, working with international allies to fully implement the Paris Climate Agreement of 2015
  • Ensure all government departments work together to produce an ambitious emissions reduction plan that will meet the Climate Change Act (2008) targets by:
    • Unlocking local and community energy
    • Cutting energy waste in homes
    • Tackling emissions and air pollution from vehicles

The meeting was part of the Speak Up week of action, which saw thousands of local people meeting their MPs across the country in the week of 1st – 9th July. From nature walks to church tea parties, from community energy visits to school activities, people from all walks of life were making sure their politicians saw how much their constituents care about what we could lose to climate change. Continue reading