There will be a Fairtrade Fortnight Big Brew Breakfast Celebrating 40 years of Traidcraft

at Shrewsbury United Reformed Church starting at 9.30am on Saturday march 9th.

You are warmly invited to attend this event.

As yet we have no specific speakers, but at the very least we will be able to update everyone on the changes in Traidcraft.

                                           The breakfast is free

any donations will go to Traidcraft Exchange, to help those craft producers Traidcraft can no longer support.

Challenging News – An Update 

I know how concerned everyone has been about the possible closure of Traidcraft.  Well, very gradually things are becoming more hopeful.

Last Saturday, November 10th, Ken and I went over to Birmingham for a meeting about the conditions of tea pickers in Assam (a Traidcraft Exchange campaign).

(I will write this up later – but if anything was needed to inspire us to keep going with Fairtrade, it was hearing about the appalling conditions they are enduring there.)

By chance Matt – one of the key figures in Traidcraft was there, and we gather:

>  Traidcraft are almost certain to continue in a new format.  They are working      incredibly hard on this.

>  They will begin with about 250 lines – all groceries – so they are very much going back to their roots and starting again, but hoping to build up again over time,

>  They will buy a few crafts, not from producers abroad, but from BAFTSS outlets in this country, so the idea for crafts is:

  1.  To get their existing producers linked into BAFTSS (meaning something like British Association of Fair Trade Shops and Suppliers)

  2. If BAFTSS don’t already get things from Traidcraft’s producers, to introduce them and try to get their crafts into the BAFTSS shops.

So far so good; what was interesting, was that they realise that they can’t just rely on Church groups (declining numbers and elderly profile) – but they are pining their hopes on the ‘Millennials’.

Please remember the staff of Traidcraft in this country: they have all been made redundant, and are now in the process of applying for the (few) jobs in the new set up.

Matt says he is working a 16 hour day to get the new format up and running – but is also having to give a cv and apply for his job back…

and of course, remember the producers, who are often very reliant on Traidcraft: I think Traidcraft Exchange will be launching an appeal to raise money to help those in the worst situation, and we will let you know when we have any further details.

But it is as good as it can be for now, and we are playing our part by ordering as much as we can from them!

If you haven’t already, do visit the stall in the indoor market – there are some irritating gaps where Traidcraft things are out of stock – but there is plenty left!!

Or just ask for a catalogue.

with all good wishes,

Meriel Chippindale

“Great news!  Shrewsbury’s status as a Fairtrade Town has been renewed until 2019”

The Market Hall stall is running smoothly, largely thanks to volunteers from this church.  And we had a very successful weekend at the Food Festival in June – again, with support from some familiar faces!


Contacts:  Ken and Meriel Chippindale  a.chippindale591@btinternet.com