Reform Movement backs Fairtrade Fortnight: 23 Feb - 8 March 2009
Thursday, 12 February 2009
Fairtrade is not so much about the traditional charity of giving handouts but more about justice, equality, sustainability and the opportunity for workers in the developing world to earn a decent living from their work for themselves, their families and their own communities. Buying products with the Fairtrade Mark means that producers receive an agreed and stable price for their products, as well as a supplement to invest into community projects such as schools and electricity supplies.
The Fairtrade system provides opportunities for farmers and workers in poor countries to escape from poverty. It also provides us as consumers with the opportunity to fulfil our responsibilities to our neighbours in our efforts of Tikkun Olam (healing the world). Fairtrade focuses mainly on tropical agricultural products such as tea, coffee, sugar and bananas that can not be grown locally in the UK.
A group of Jewish communal organisations (Board of Deputies, UJIA, The Pears Foundation, JCC and Tzedek) are working closely with the Fairtrade Foundation on a joint educational resource entitled ‘A Jewish Guide to Fairtrade’ which will be launched in Fairtrade Fortnight (23rd February - 8th March 2009). The Reform Movement is proud to be part of this campaign.
The Guide will encourage the community to support Fairtrade and contains in depth background information, case studies, Jewish sources, information on how to purchase fairtrade products and ideas for actions that can be taken to spread the benefits of using Fairtrade products to your family, friends and community.
The Really Jewish Food Guide 2009 highlights Fairtrade products which are also kosher.
Becoming a Fairtrade Synagogue
These Reform synagogues are already signed up to the Fairtrade Synagogues scheme:
Bournemouth, Cardiff, Middlesex New, Sinai, Alyth, Shir Hayim, Southgate, Wimbledon, West London, Newcastle, North West Surrey, Liverpool, Finchley
If your synagogue is not signed up, or to renew your pledge as a Fairtrade Synagogue, visit: www.fairtrade.org.uk/faiths or click here to download the Fairtrade Synagogue Guide.
You can apply to be a Fairtrade Synagogue if your synagogue council has agreed to meet the following goals:
- Use Fairtrade tea and coffee for all synagogue meetings for which you have responsibility
- Move forward on using other Fairtrade products such as sugar, juice and fruit
- Promote Fairtrade during Fairtrade Fortnight and other times of the year through events, worship and other activities whenever possible.
What else can your COMMUNITY do?
- Buy Fairtrade products for your kiddush.
- Hold a Fairtrade meal in your synagogue, ask people to contribute Fairtrade products.
- Run a Fairtrade stall at your synagogue.
- Hang Fairtrade fruit in your Succah; send food parcels at Purim.
What YOU can do
- Each time you go food shopping try and add one new Fairtrade product to your shopping list
- When you are choosing a chocolate bar – choose a Fairtrade one
- Let your local shop know which Fairtrade products you want, speak to the store manager or write a letter
- Keep your fruit bowl stocked up with Fairtrade certified fruit
- There are lots of Fairtrade recipe books available, cook meals or give the book as a present
- Not only food - you can buy T-shirts, socks, towels and even bed linen made from Fairtrade cotton. Marks & Spencer has a new range
- If you are having an event or simcha, bar-mitzvah or wedding, ask the caterers to use Fairtrade ingredients
- The Jewish Social Action Forum has made Fairtrade kippot - made in India using Fairtrade cotton. Buy these as gifts or have them personalised for your simcha
A number of events will take place during Fairtrade Fortnight starting with a big free launch event in central London on Sunday 22nd February. Click here to view the full calendar of events. In particular, look out for these events: Join Tzedek and the JCC during Fairtrade Fortnight for a screening of Black Gold on Monday 2nd March and satisfy your Chocoholic cravings with the JCC on Wednesday 4th March.
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