CAFOD supporters in Southwark have been protesting against Sainsbury’s decision to abandon the Fairtrade mark on some of its own-brand tea.
Campaigners Andy Wansbury and Josephine Simms have written to Sainsbury’s to express their disappointment with the supermarket’s decision to replace the Fairtrade mark on its Red and Gold Label teas with its own ‘fairly traded’ version.
While Fairtrade guarantees producers a fair minimum price for their goods and an additional social premium to invest in their communities, CAFOD campaigners are concerned that Sainsbury’s scheme could see tea farmers lose control of the social premium and instead have to apply to a UK-based board for the funding.
It’s estimated nearly a quarter of a million tea farmers and producers are affected.
Both Andy and Josephine are calling on the supermarket to reconsider this pilot scheme, and as part of their protest wrote letters to the managers of their local Sainsbury’s stores.
British tea drinkers account for three quarters of Fairtrade tea sales globally, with Sainsbury’s the world’s largest retailer of Fairtrade.
The Fairtrade Foundation was founded in 1992 by a group of charities including CAFOD, Christian Aid and Oxfam, to create a market of better prices, decent working conditions and fair terms of trade for small-scale farmers. The Fairtrade Foundation estimates more than 1.65 million farmers and workers in 74 countries now get a better deal from Fairtrade.
Here in the CAFOD Southwark office, we know that buying Fairtrade tea is a proven way to make a difference every time we drink a cup of tea. The letters written by Andy and Josephine, and the actions staged by other CAFOD Supporters all across the country shows that we’re not the only ones who care.
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, and everyone else at CAFOD, would like them to reconsider this decision to remove the Fairtrade mark from their own-brand tea.
If you’d like to get involved then find out more at: https://cafod.org.uk/Campaign/Fairtrade