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David Underwood - via Parish Office

Tel :   020 8504 1686

Fax : 020 8504 1844


30 years ago, the first Fairtrade products hit shelves here in the UK. By picking those products up, you have been part of decades of positive change, driven by farmers receiving a fairer price for their hard work.

30 years on, farmers still face huge challenges. But by combining your support and farmers' expertise, there are huge opportunities too. Opportunities to make trade fair and tackle climate change.

To explain, let us introduce you to Jaime


'We farm from the heart, and we love growing. With the love I have for my land, I don't see myself working anywhere else.' Jaime Alberto García Flórez, who grows cocoa and Fairtrade coffee on his farm in Colombia.

Everyday we hear stories from farmers like Jaime who are passionate about protecting forests.

Our new petition calls on the UK government to back farmers like him, who are working hard to make sure thriving communities and thriving forests can grow side-by-side. Will you sign?


Jaime has been taking action for years – protecting his local environment by practicing forest-friendly farming and planting shade trees. His efforts are a perfect example of how Fairtrade farmers are protecting forests from the drastic effects of climate change. 


'We farmers are the first to feel and the first to fight climate change. If we want to leave something for our children, we need to take measures to mitigate the effects of climate change now.' Jaime Alberto García Flórez. Sign to support the work he and other Fairtrade farmers are pioneering to protect forests.

But Jaime's vital work costs money. Without a fair trade system and government climate funding that has been promised, but not yet delivered, the future of farmers like Jaime is at risk.   

Right now, the UK Government is planning new laws aimed at preventing deforestation.  

Sign our new petition to tell our government to ensure legal changes to tackle deforestation do not place the burden on farmers like Jaime. 


What does the Protecting Forests with Farmers petition call for?  

When you sign, you are asking the government to deliver on unfulfilled climate funding pledges and bring in crucial legal changes that will mean more farmers like Jaime can farm sustainably. 

On funding, the UK has so far failed to meet its pledged financial commitment of £11.6 billion to support communities most affected by climate change.1 And a specific promise made at COP26 of £500m to tackle deforestation has yet to be delivered.2 

Meanwhile promised new laws on protecting forests must both support locally-led efforts like Jaime's and ensure that big companies take responsibility for their role in deforestation without the costs of compliance being unfairly placed on farmers.3

Sign to ask UK politicians to take action. If we get this right, small-scale farmers around the world will have a better chance to take on climate change and extreme poverty in their communities.  


Why deforestation matters for Fairtrade 


'The root cause of deforestation is poverty.' Benjamin-Francklin Kouamé, Fairtrade Cocoa Farmer, Côte d'Ivoire, speaking at COP26 in Glasgow on behalf of the Fairtrade movement.

As Benjamin says, we can not tackle deforestation without eliminating the poverty that prevents sustainable choices.

That's why, 30 years on from the first UK Fairtrade sales, Fairtrade's mission is more relevant than ever. To protect our forests, we need to overturn centuries of unjust trade that still leaves millions unable to earn enough for essentials like decent food and medical care. 


The Climate Crisis isn't fair. 

Black, Brown and Indigenous rural communities in Africa, Latin America, Asia and the Pacific are feeling the worst effects of climate change right now. Despite having done the least to cause the climate emergency. 

Those working with the land every day so often have vital knowledge on how to protect the environment and take on climate change. But the failure of the wealthiest nations to deliver fair prices and fair funding – despite decades of promises – means millions of farmers simply can't afford to invest in sustainable farming.  

Sign the petition to call on UK politicians to change this now. 


Interested in finding out more about how to get involved locally with Protecting Forests with Farmers?  

This Spring, you can hear from Fairtrade farmers and workers through a collection of Climate Stories. Sign up to our upcoming Campaign Catch Up to learn more about how to get involved. 


Thanks so much for your support and for signing the petition. Please don't forget to share with your friends and family after you sign.

Many thanks,


Fairtrade Foundation

1. UK's £11.6bn climate finance commitment at risk as aid resources stretched - ICAI (

2. UK leads 45 governments in new pledges to protect nature - GOV.UK (

3. Supermarket essentials will no longer be linked to illegal deforestation - GOV.UK (


In February 2009, St Thomas of Canterbury was certified by CAFOD and the Fairtrade Foundation as a Fairtrade parish. 

With the agreement of Fr Austin and the Parish Council, our parish has committed to:

•    use Fairtrade tea and coffee after services and at all parish meetings;
•    move forward on using other Fairtrade products such as biscuits, sugar and fruit;
•    promote Fairtrade during Fairtrade Fortnight and through events, worship and other activities. 


Pictured: Fr Austin, supported by Fintan Canavan (parish councillor) and David Underwood (parishioner and CAFOD volunteer) receives the Fairtrade certificate from Joanna Jarvis, joint manager CAFOD Brentwood.



Fairtrade celebrates 25th birthday since first products launched in UK 

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This October Fairtrade kicks off its 25th birthday celebrations with a long weekend of parties, activities and events from Friday 4th- Monday 7th October 2019, which will see the public show their ongoing support for the 1.6million farmers and workers behind the UK’s most visible ethical label.


Show your support by buying Fairtrade products when you go shopping.


Click linkto find out more




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CAFOD dismayed by SAINSBURY'S move away from Fairtrade. Over 100,000 people signed the petition to SAINSBURY'S. 


The photograph shows supporters led by CAFOD outside Sainsbury HQ on Thursday, 26th October 2017 ahead of the national day of action on Saturday, 28th presenting an "Fairtrade airline" ticket to the CEO Mike Coupe inviting him to visit his tea suppliers to see them at work.


Thank you to all 183 St Thomas parishioners and friends who signed the petition that has been now been emailed to the store manager at their South Woodford branch and to the CEO, Mike Coupe. And thanks also to those that signed the petition online.


See the response received from Sainsbury's CEO here>>>

See the campaign's response to CEO here>>>


NOT ALL TEA IS CREATED EQUAL- Find out more here>>>

However you make your cuppa, make sure it's Fairtrade!


WAITROSEhas recently announced a strengthening of its commitment to Fairtrade. All their own brand tea will in future be Fairtrade. More here>>>


We are delighted to announce that for the next six months the WAITROSEbranch in Buckhurst Hill has donated the Fairtrade tea and coffee we use after Sunday 10am and 11.30am Masses. This means that all the donations for these refreshments received from parishioners can be shared between CAFOD and local charities.

December 2016

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We’re in an unprecedented situation. 

In this post-EU referendum, post-US election world, trade has never been more in the spotlight. And as Brexit moves ahead, our trade deals with the rest of the world will be rewritten.

Please add your name to our letter to Prime Minister Theresa May and ask her publicly to commit to trade that delivers a fair deal for farmers and workers in developing countries.

We are handing in our letter next week to Theresa May and we need you to help get us to 50,000 signatures.

Click here>>to sign the petition

There's so much noise to cut through that it's more important than ever to speak up for the farmers and workers whose voices may not be heard. Brexit is bigger than Britain. Don't let poor farmers and workers be forgotten when our government gets around the negotiating table.

Thank you for your support.
Jonathan Smith,
Head of Campaigns, Fairtrade Foundation

December 2016

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Test yourself by devouring 10 facts about Fairtrade chocolate in a blog post written by Anna in the press team at The Fairtrade Foundation. You might be surprised to find out that most cocoa farmers have never tasted chocolate. You’ll also learn what percentage of Fairtrade cocoa growers are women. And find out the country that consumes the most Fairtrade cocoa.


Ready, set, cocoa!


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For this year's Fairtrade Fortnight, the Fairtrade Foundation asked the nation to join in The Big Swap. For two whole weeks they asked you to swap your usual stuff for Fairtrade stuff. Your usual bananas for Fairtrade bananas, your usual cotton socks for Fairtrade cotton socks, and your usual cuppa for a Fairtrade cuppa. Although Fairtrade Fortnight has ended for this year, you can continue to use your wallet to make a stand.


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Cadbury Dairy Milk has recently launched its new Fairtrade-certified chocolate bars, becoming the first mass market chocolate to gain certification from the Fairtrade Foundation.Cadbury has committed to offering the new Fairtrade bar at no extra cost, and with no change to the taste. 


The Fairtrade Foundation welcomes the significant investment in fair andethical trade announced in a White Paper unveiled by Secretary of State Douglas Alexander in the House of Commons on 6 July 2009.  

MARCH 2009

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The world’s biggest Fairtrade banana-eating record attempt took place between noon on Friday 6 March and noon on Saturday 7 March. 

The Parish Office, members of the Franciscan Community at Woodford and the Woodford Guides were amongst over 400,000 people who registered for the event. 


Pictured: 12.15pm, Friday 6 March, staff at the Parish Office take a lead in going bananas for Fairtrade.

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