Ditching Fairtrade: Not my cup of tea!

Sainsbury’s is the largest retailer of Fairtrade products in the UK.  Unfortunately, they have ditched the Fairtrade mark on their own brand of tea, to set up their own scheme called ‘fairly traded’ tea.  As a CAFOD volunteer, and supporter of Fairtrade, this change was not my cup of tea.
At CAFOD North Wales, we decided to protest against this change. We took CAFOD’s open letter to the store manager, John, at Sainsbury’s Wrexham Superstore, to let him know how we felt about this move away from Fairtrade.  John was very nice and listened to what we had to say.  He would pass on our concerns.


CAFOD North Wales rep, Colette Byrne, and volunteer Harriet Rees, outside Sainsbury’s Wrexham Superstore.

I am sure many people feel as I do about the importance of Fairtrade products, and have always known Sainsbury’s to be an ethical supermarket which stocks over 500 Fairtrade products.  That is why we need to ensure they keep up this work, to help poor farmers earn a decent living wage.  This was my first campaign for CAFOD about Fairtrade and it is so important to me, I had to take part… And taking part was so easy, we’re asking you to do it too!

Outside Sainsburys

Ditching Fairtrade: Not my cup of tea! Protesting outside Sainbury’s Wrexham Superstore. 

Simply visit the CAFOD website to download resources, such as the open letter and props.  Print your own letter, sign it and take it into your local Sainsbury’s store manager, to let them know that we all stand together and do not support this move away from Fairtrade. If you want to share your experience, we’d love to hear about it.  Either contact Colette at CAFOD North Wales or post it to our Facebook and twitter. You can also sign and share the online petition and tell Sainsbury’s Chief Executive Mike Coupe: don’t ditch Fairtrade!  If we make it very clear we only support Fairtrade tea, we can make him reconsider.




Radio Interview with Calon FM

Last week I visited Calon FM in Glyndwr University, Wrexham. I was asked to come in and speak about my experience as a CAFOD volunteer and jumped at the chance.

I was so nervous to begin with and practiced some answers with as many people as I could get to listen to me! When I arrived at the studio I was immediately calmed by the


CAFOD volunteer, Harriet Rees, with Dave Williams and crew at Calon FM.

host, Dave Williams, who’s professional, calm attitude made me realise he had it all under control.
I was asked about why I volunteered with CAFOD, which is easy to answer, because as a young Catholic, I am so passionate about everything they are involved in. The radio interview was a great opportunity to talk about my recent trip to Portugal with CAFOD, to a sustainable living camp, and all the experiences I have had in the campaigns office as a volunteer.
Along with some great music, Dave was great fun to talk to. You can listen to my interview and find out all that I have been up to with CAFOD, and how easy it is to get involved.

This week, we are heading to Sainsbury’s in Wrexham to campaign against them taking Fair Trade tea off the shelves. It is so simple to get your voice across and we need everyone to join in to make sure we are heard. You can find out how we got on later in the week, or to find out more about the campaign you can head to the CAFOD website.


Visit CAFOD or contact your local volunteer centre on 01978 355 084 or northwales@cafod.org.uk for more details.

Local Cytun (Churches together in Wales) support Romero celebration in Mold, St. David’s Parish

On what would have been the 100th birthday of Blessed Romero, CAFOD volunteer Katja Jewell speaks of her event  at St David’s Parish this weekend.


In March Bishop Peter Brignall welcomed the Archbishop Oscar Romero Trust into the Diocese of Wrexham.  The deeply moving talk by Martha Zechmeister (SJ) on Blessed Oscar Romero and the impact of his life and sacrifice on our own personal discipleship, but also the church as a whole, inspired us all.

Following on from a diocesan gathering in June a small group of parishioners in St. David’s Mold, organised a special celebration for the 100th birthday of Blessed Oscar Romero, Archbishop of El Salvador, assassinated in 1980 for speaking up for the poor.

A short talk was given after Mass on Sunday, with the invitation to watch a brief yet superb video by the Romero Trust. Fairtrade roses and specially made bookmarks were handed out to every parishioner.

The hall was decorated with bright colours and garden flowers, fairtrade tea and coffee was served with cakes, following recipes from the “Global Bakery Book “ of the New Internationalist (ISBN 978-1-78026-1),  including a recipe said to be one of Romero’s favourite cakes, a sweet cake, containing savoury hard cheese.

This simple yet fitting way to come together was even more precious as we welcomed members of other parishes and denominations of the ‘Churches together in Wales (Cytun)’. Parishioners were also told of a Welsh language song to celebrate Blessed Oscar Romero, which can also be found on the Romero Trust Website.

The Parish of St. David’s has followed the Cafod Parish scheme connect2 for many years. After engaging with Cafod supported projects in Brazil, the parish will now follow the lives of communities in El Salvador.

In 2013, St. David’s, Mold had a visit from members of the village of Puentecitos,  El Salvador. Julia and Fidel talked to the children of the primary school  about their community and their daily joys and struggles.  The following months will help us to catch up with news from Puentecitos.

The event raised interest, awareness and vital funds for the Romero Trust, as we vouched on the day of Martha’s talk.

We would like to emphasise again the importance of high quality speakers and partners of the global south to visit our small parishes in North wales.

The direct experience and personal exchange is weaving us all together in the global network of faith, justice and peace.

Diolch yn Fawr – thank you.

Written by CAFOD volunteer Katja Jewell