Ethical Shopping - buy certified ethical tea, coffee, cocoa and chocolate.
Help the Poor
As the cost of living crisis deepens many more people at home and abroad can no longer afford the basics. Please continue to support charities such as:-
• Local foodbanks – both Dinnington and Kiveton foodbanks
• The Street People
Help the Environment
Use Eco- Friendly Cleaning products. The Reflection Group have made a pledge to only use Eco-friendly products in church
Live Simply - Ethical Shopping – buy certified ethical tea, coffee, cocoa and chocolate
Ethical shopping means buying products made without exploiting people, animals or the environment. There are several ethical certification schemes for tea, coffee, cocoa, chocolate and other products; Fairtrade and Rainforest Alliance are two of the most well-known, look for their logos on the packaging.
Fairtrade and Rainforest Alliance
Fair Trade certification supports farmers and producers; its main focus is on improving their lives and their communities whilst protecting the environment. Fairtrade is unique for its focus on fair prices.
· It ensures that farmers and producers get a fair price for their products.
· It sets a minimum price that must be paid even when the market price falls below it. Volatile prices are destructive for poor farmers.
· It also has a fixed premium that must be paid on top of the market price which is spent on projects such as housing, clean water, training, farm improvements and the environment.
· It ensures safe working conditions, no child labour, forced labour or violation of indigenous land rights.
· It fights poverty and exploitation of farmers and producers to improve their quality of life.
· It provides training in sustainable and organic agricultural practices.
· It protects the environment; farmers and producers must meet Fairtrade social and environmental standards and regulations.
The Rainforest Alliance certification focuses on protecting forests and creating a more sustainable world by using social and market forces to protect nature and improve the lives of farmers and forest communities
· It promotes best practices for protecting native forests and preventing the expansion of cropland into forests.
· It promotes responsible land management methods that increase carbon storage while avoiding deforestation.
· It trains farmers in practices which help to build resilience to droughts, flooding, and erosion.
· It provides strategies for assessing and addressing child labour, forced labour, poor working conditions, low wages, gender inequality, and the violation of Indigenous land rights.
· Improving farmer’s livelihoods is an important goal for Rainforest Alliance. However it does not set a minimum price. It focuses on helping farmers grow their businesses and become more profitable and resilient through training in farm management.
The Difference between Fairtrade and Rainforest Alliance
St. Joseph’s has promoted Fairtrade products for 25 years including tea, coffee, chocolate, bananas, gold, cotton, flowers, wine and clothes. However, recently many companies have dropped Fairtrade certification in favour of Rainforest Alliance and although the aims of Fairtrade and Rainforest Alliance are very similar there are significant differences between them that are worth considering:-
· Fairtrade has a minimum price that must be paid to farmers and producers.
Rainforest Alliance has no minimum price.
· Fairtrade has a premium that is paid on top of the market price for community projects. Rainforest Alliance has no provision for community projects.
· Fairtrade focuses on price to farmers and producers.
Rainforest Alliance focuses on best practices for protecting Rainforest.
· Fairtrade producers can be decertified if they fail to comply with the standards.
Rainforest Alliance plans to take a ‘due diligence’ rather than prohibition approach in its new standard. This means that instead of putting red lines in place – that if crossed would result in decertification – it instead requires companies to have risk assessments, grievance mechanisms and remediation processes in place to identify and address any violations found themselves.
Conclusion Both Fairtrade and Rainforest Alliance products are ethical; however Rainforest Alliance has no minimum price for farmers and producers and seems to be a weaker scheme as it takes a ‘due diligence’ rather than a prohibition approach.
Availability All main supermarkets stock both Fairtrade and Rainforest Alliance products,
COOP own brands of tea, coffee, cocoa and chocolate are all Fairtrade.
A special note
Consider switching from Nescafe and other Nestle products. Nestle continues to be one of the most boycotted companies in the world; it is one of the most prominent producers of infant formula milk.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) and UNICEF published a report this year which exposes the infant formula milk industry for continuing to aggressively promote the sale of infant formula milk in misleading ways (even after a 50 year old campaign to persuade it to stop). The WHO says breastfeeding is critical because of longstanding evidence that exclusive breastfeeding for six months after birth, if possible, and for up to two years or beyond protects against child malnutrition and many childhood illnesses and health issues. This is especially important in the developing world in areas where access to clean water is limited and incomes are low. Mixing formula milk with dirty water leads to diarrhoea and can lead to infant death; people on low incomes are tempted to water down infant formula leading to malnutrition.
Promotion of infant formula milk is strictly regulated in the UK but regulations are weaker or non-existent in developing countries.
The Reflection Group has decided to only use:- Alternatives ?????
1. Only use tea, coffee and cocoa that are certified as ethical in church such as Fairtrade and Rainforest Alliance.
2. Only use tea coffee and cocoa that are certified as ethical in church and to use Fairtrade whenever possible and Rainforest Alliance when Fairtrade is not available.
In addition – NEVER to use Nescafe in church