Fair Trade Newsletter
Rock Community Church
Rock Community Church achieves Fair Trade Status!
In August, we received a letter and certificate confirming we are now a recognised Fairtrade church. Great news!
Fairtrade tea and filter coffee is now available at our morning services, and, at the end of September, we will have a stall selling FT goods provided by Rainbow Turtle in Paisley. This will run on the last Sunday of the month and will give you the chance to stock up on tea, coffee, rice, sugar, etc. The first stall will be based on your responses to the FT survey we carried out a few weeks ago.
Since the Main Focus of this newsletter is based on Christmas, there will be the opportunity to buy/order goods from the Traidcraft and Created(formerly Tearcraft) catalogues also.
Real Advent Calendars
Following on the success of Real Easter Eggs, the Meaningful Chocolate Company is selling Real Advent Calendars which are Fairtrade and also is giving a charitable donation to the Children’s Society.
There’s a line of the Christmas story and a chocolate star behind each window. Behind the final window is a 24-page Christmas storybook.
Levette will be taking orders for these or, if you wish, they can be bought in Tesco. They cost £3.99.
The Christmas Starts with Christ campaign hopes to reverse the trend of secularism by telling the Christmas story in new ways, and this is one of them.
The Kasinthula Cane Growers (KCG) smallholders’ project is located in the inhospitable Shire Valley region in the south of Malawi, one of the poorest countries in Southern Africa. Long droughts occasionally result in famine and the twice-yearly rains frequently bring floods. Most families eke out a living growing maize, cassava or rice on the arid land, while others earn cash from sugar cane or cotton or work on nearby sugar plantations. Poverty is rife with most people living in very basic mud huts and few able to afford to keep livestock.
Agriculture provides a livelihood for over 85% of the population, of which around 90% are smallholders. Sugar is the third biggest export earner after tobacco and tea. Development of the sugar sector is constrained by high input costs, poor rural infrastructure, inadequate health facilities, lack of agricultural support services, and lack of appropriate technology.
KCG was Fairtrade certified in 2002 and is now supplying sugar on Fairtrade terms to a growing number of companies in the UK, Europe and the US.
The sugar cane is cut by hand and delivered to the Illovo mill approximately 25km away. On top of the negotiated contract price for the sugar cane, Fairtrade sales attract an additional Fairtrade premium of $60 a tonne which is ring-fenced for much-needed community development projects. Members agreed that the first priority was to increase access to clean water and future plans include building a secondary school and health clinic.
Having invested hope and a huge amount of hard work, the farmers have fought hard to get where they are today and it is clear they will stay the course. Given the chance, they will fulfil their ambition to work their way out of poverty. And their children will go to school and have better opportunities in the future.
Coffee, Pecan & Raisin Whirls (about 9)
250g bought puff pastry
60g Fairtrade raisins
finely grated zest and juice of 1 Fairtrade orange
60g unrefined (golden) Fairtrade sugar
½ teaspoon ground Fairtrade cinnamon
40g pecans 15g melted butter
1 egg, beaten
1 Tbsp warmed runny Fairtrade honey
For the icing
75g icing sugar
1 tsp instant Fairtrade coffee granules, dissolved in 1 Tbsp boiling water
First put raisins in a bowl with the orange juice and leave to soak for 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 220°C/425°F/gas mark 7. Roll out the puff pastry to a square, measuring about 24cm. Brush with melted butter, leaving a 2cm gap down 2 parallel edges. Mix sugar well with the cinnamon and orange zest. Break pecans into pieces about the same size as the raisins and mix into the sugar. Drain the raisins and add to the sugar mixture. Spread onto pastry, avoiding the gap along the 2 edges. Brush the gaps with beaten egg. Starting with one of these edges, roll up tightly like a swiss roll. Seal the edge as tightly as possible, using more beaten egg. With a sharp knife, slice the roll into 2cm wide rounds.
Place on a baking tray and brush top and sides with more beaten egg. Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden brown. Brush tops with warmed honey straight from the oven. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
Make up icing by beating the coffee into the icing sugar until smooth. When pastries are cool, drizzle with icing.
Tip: To save on soaking time, put raisins and orange juice in a bowl and microwave on high for 1 minute then stand for 10 minutes.
A STOCKING FULL OF FAIR TRADE
Last year I made seven quilted Christmas stockings for Macindoe family groups and filled them with edible and sweet smelling seasonal goodies. They were a great success and I thoroughly enjoyed the process knowing that the stocking would outlive its contents to become a lovely decorative item. This year I plan to take things in a new direction and will make a sample Christmas stocking, fill it with Fair Trade products and bring it to the Rock for an early November ‘Show & Tell’. If you like what you see, want to order a similar stocking and promise to fill it with FT items, I will make one for you at a cost of £10, with all profits going to Four Homes of Mercy. You will have the additional cost of purchasing a few FT (Traidcraft) items, such as coffee, tea, nuts, dried fruits, chocolate, honey, cookies, ‘Gifts for Life’, jewellery notebook, trinket box, etc. Then you can give a lovely gift that is both immediately enjoyable and enduringly meaningful, making a significant contribution to the lives of others. This Christmas you can introduce friends and family to the practice of Fair Trade and give a gift for life.
FAIR TRADE QUILT
I have discovered an online UK company selling Fair Trade fabric and I am thrilled by their commitment to sourcing fabrics that help to improve the lives of poor and marginalized growers, dyers and weavers of cotton. In 2014, I will make a lap quilt (sofa/throw size) exclusively from Fair Trade fabrics and organic non-allergy fair trade sewing thread, that will be auctioned or raffled, to raise funds for the work of Four Homes of Mercy in Palestine. Get ready; it will be something you will want to own!
That, as we approach the Christmas season, we think of others and buy responsibly, ensuring weare caring for those struggling to
earn a basic wage.
That we share the true meaning of “Love came down at Christmas.”
Advent Conspiracy is an international movement restoring the scandal of Christmas by substituting compassion for consumption. Advent Conspiracy was started in 2006 by five pastors who decided to make Christmas a revolutionary event by encouraging their faith communities to Worship Fully, Spend Less, Give More and Love All.“We all want our Christmas to be a lot of things. Full of joy. Memories. Happiness. Above all, we want it to be about Jesus. What we don't want is stress. Or debt. Or feeling like we "missed the moment". Advent Conspiracy is a movement designed to help us all slow down and experience a Christmas worth remembering. But doing this means doing things a little differently. A little creatively.”
The website is full of fantastic resources which can be downloaded, plus there is info on giving to Living Water, International Justice Movement, or any other charity of your choice.
“If you exercise your ability to choose, maintain your integrity, look at the other & include them in your field of vision, then you will see the web of relationships with others & the whole creation. Then you will value a spirit of welcome and the practice of compassion.”
Jim Wallis – God’s Politics
Sells crafts made by women of Palestine.
Sells responsible brands goods
Online fairtrade shop
Buy responsibly and save lives