Wolverhampton Methodist Circuit
A FAIRTRADE CIRCUIT
WHAT IS FAIR TRADE?
The fair trade movement has developed rapidly since the early 1990s and seeks to offer a fair wage for a fair day's work to growers and artisans in the world's poorest countries. A fair trade premium is awarded in addition to the price of goods sold on the international fair trade market. This premium is awarded to a community rather than to individuals and is used to develop infrastructure; providing health, education or training opportunities.
Trade justice, how communities across the world treat their neighbours in terms of finance, is an integral part of the gospel. Fair trade is a manifestation of how we declare God's love for people, no matter where or who they are.
It follows that our church communities seek to be involved in fair trade movement.
The Wolverhampton Methodist Circuit became a Fairtrade Circuit in 2009, following the establishment of a fair trade steering group the previous year.
All of the churches in the circuit are registered as fair trade churches and commit themselves to
Providing fair trade refreshments at church events.
Including fair trade in at least one act of worship each year.
Increasing the use of fair trade items at the church wherever possible.
The 'Just Fayre' has become a regular event in the circuit – hosted by one of our larger venues the fayre showcases a wide range of fairly traded items, with several traders, a fashion show and more recently a cooking demo raising awareness around fair trade products. The steering group has also hosted social evenings, bringing people together for conversation around fair trade cakes and drinks.
FAIR TRADE IN WOLVERHAMPTON
Wolverhampton became the fair trade city in 2005, following a resolution of the city council and under the gentle but persuasive leadership of Lord Bilston.
The faith communities in Wolverhampton are an important part of the city's Fairtrade Partnership, working with schools, colleges, our university and businesses to develop fair trade practice across the city.
Another very active member of the Partnership is Wolverhampton Fairtraid; a Community Interest Company based at Darlington Street Methodist Centre which has grown from very humble origins to the impressive shop and coffee bar you can visit today. Methodists are well represented among the volunteers, give of their time and talents as a practical outworking of the gospel.
The circuit fair trade steering group meets regularly to develop our work and to support our churches. If you would be interested in joining us, please contact Elaine Jones: firstname.lastname@example.org or Brenda Shuttleworth: email@example.com.
The Fairtrade Partnership hosted the regional conference organised by the Fairtrade Foundation.
When Andrew Mitchell was Minister for Overseas Development, he chose to visit Wolverhampton because our model for doing fair trade has been particularly successful. Harriet Lamb was then Director of the Fairtrade Foundation and is pictured here with Paul Birch, a local businessman who runs a co-operative producing fair trade coffee, Barbara Gwinnett, thenVice-Chair of the Partnership and Lord Bilston.
In 2015 in Partnership co-hosted an open meeting with two Palestinian farmers who grow olives and whose produce is bought on the fair trade market by Zaytoun.
Each year Pat McFadden hosts a coffee morning at St John's in Fairtrade Fortnight.
Thanks to all those who offer their time willingly to run the shop. New volunteers are always welcome!
In Fairtrade Fortnight 2016 the Methodist circuit hosted an open meeting together with the Wolverhampton Fair Trade Partnership. Our guest speaker was Sheena Biju, a Fair Trade coffee producer from Kerela.
The shop combined its big birthday with the opening of the Methodist Centre
In November we launched our very own fair trade chocolate bar – we understand that we are the first city to have done so. The bar can be purchased at Wolverhampton Fair Traid.
Pat called into Wolverhampton Fair Traid for photo opp with volunteers
Many Fair Trade products are vegan friendly.
Many people visited the Just Fayre event at St. Andrew's, Sedgley, in 2016
The mayor of Dudley visits the Just Fayre event in 2016
Elaine doing a great job promoting Fair Trade at the June Circuit Meeting at Codsall, Trinity.