Bradford Cathedral has become the first cathedral to re-commit as a Fairtrade place of worship, amongst 7,500 churches, mosques, temples and synagogues who have pledged to use and promote Fairtrade.
Bradford Cathedral’s commitment to Fairtrade began with an award back in 2009, spearheaded by Canon Andy Williams and his wife Jennie.
The cathedral continues to focus on Fairtrade by ensuring all its tea and coffee provisions are Fairtrade as well as running a stall every Sunday after the morning Eucharist selling a whole range of goods including chocolate, cooking oils and biscuits, as well as seasonable items like advent calendars.
As an outworking of our faith, Bradford Cathedral believes that developing world producers should be paid a just, living wage for the goods we buy, and that in producing these goods, the environment should be protected. It is one of the simplest ways of obeying Jesus’ commandment to ‘love our neighbour’.
The Fairtrade mark means that the producer group receives a fair and guaranteed price to cover average costs of production alongside a Fairtrade Premium to invest in their business or a project of their choice. It also ensures that workers have the right to decent wages, to join unions, and work in safe conditions, and that farmers and workers, including women, have the opportunity to have their voice heard.
Any profit made on the sale of Fairtrade items goes to the cathedral’s supplier, the charity Traidcraft, to help build a world free of injustice in trade and business.
Bradford Cathedral also sells locally produced honey and soap, supporting local businesses and helping to keep our carbon footprint low.
Elaine de Villiers, part of the Bradford Cathedral EcoGroup:
“We recognise that any purchase we make has a knock-on effect, especially in the developing world where much of our food, the wood for our furniture and the cotton for our clothes is grown. Many products are made in a way which uses a workforce who are not paid a just, living wage, or does not protect the environment.
“When we choose to buy Fairtrade products, we know the environment and the producers and labourers are being protected, respected and valued. We believe that the display of Fairtrade and fairly traded products on a Sunday morning, with the option to buy, is a visible reminder to all who come to worship that we are called to challenge injustice wherever we see it – following the Biblical call to ’act justly’ (Micah 6:8).
“In addition, offering the opportunity to see and buy Fairtrade goods is a significant element of the cathedral maintaining Fairtrade Faith status (awarded by the Fairtrade Foundation).
“It stands alongside the Cathedral’s commitment to serve Fairtrade refreshments wherever possible, as well intercessions, notices and events such as the annual Fairtrade Breakfast.”
Angharad Hopkinson, Campaigns and Policy Officer at the Fairtrade Foundation said: “Congratulations to Bradford Cathedral on recommitting their Fairtrade status and becoming the first cathedral to do so, and for the enormous amount of work they have put into promoting Fairtrade and trade justice among their congregations. Ensuring fair prices, fairer terms of trade and sustainable livelihoods is a vital way for the people of Bradford to play a role in creating a better world for all.”