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Review of Fairtrade at St Andrew's

Updated: Feb 14

Fairtrade at St Andrew’s has a long history. In its heyday it was pioneering, innovative, ahead of its time, valued, and educational so we were better informed about the workers, farmers and producers. It brought Fairtrade to life in the variety of goods for sale. The team campaigned to raise awareness of different issues affecting the producers.

Fairtrade is a global movement and St Andrew’s is a small part of a much bigger movement to change the way trade is conducted internationally. Brenda and Lionel Mayoh have been at the forefront of this enterprise for many years and have built up a team around them.

But the landscape of Fairtrade at St Andrew’s has changed.

  • The former shop manager retired in January 2023. Interim arrangements were put in place but they’re not sustainable. The workload is considerable and falls on very few shoulders.

  • Traidcraft PLC went into administration in early 2023. They were our principle supplier (about 60%) of fairly traded goods sold in the shop and new suppliers have had to be sourced.

  • Several volunteers have expressed their desire to step down from the shop rota for different reasons.

  • Many churches in Bedford who used to source fairly traded goods from St Andrew’s no longer do so, and our ability to attend ‘outside events’ at schools, churches and other venues is now not possible as volunteers step down.

  • Shopping habits have changed and many fairly traded goods are now available in mainstream supermarkets. Buying ‘new’ is not necessarily sustainable as ‘refill’ shops are now operating so plastic waste is reduced.

There is therefore a need to review the extent to which we value Fairtrade at St Andrew’s as part of our mission and ministry, the extent to which Fairtrade at St Andrew’s can continue in its present form, and the extent to which new volunteers could be recruited to fill the shoes of those stepping down.  

Following on from the meeting held on 7 February for anyone with a keen interest or involvement with Fairtrade at St Andrew’s, it was agreed to open up the discussion to the whole church.

At the meeting, four actions were agreed.

1.    Pray

Evening Prayer every Monday between now and Easter will focus on Fairtrade at St Andrew’s. It’s at 5pm on Zoom so please join all or any Monday afternoon prayers when you can.


2.    Inform

It was agreed to let the Church Family know the current situation. This blog is one part of that!

3.    Consult

A questionnaire has been devised to which you are all invited to respond. It will be available

here, and in hard copy at the 8am service, the 10am service and the Wednesday 10.30am service. Please return electronic copies via email to Lucy, and paper replies to the box at the back of Church by Sunday 3rd March.

Fairtrade questionnaire v2 (002)
Download DOCX • 39KB

4.    Conversations

An opportunity will be found for everyone to take part, if they so wish, in a round table conversation. At the moment the dates and times are being discussed and as soon as they are agreed, we will let you know.

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