A Service of Celebration of Fairtrade was held in Southwell Minster on Saturday 25th February, to herald Fairtrade Fortnight 2023. The Fairtrade Foundation is now 31 years old and works to rally a global community of millions – farmers and workers, supply chain partners, retailers, shoppers, schools and governments – to pay fair prices and uphold fair production standards and practices. Fair prices help to raise incomes and allow communities to provide better education and healthcare. The Fairtrade Foundation also supports the provision of training and advice to farmers to combat the effects of global warming, which has its worst effects in the southern hemisphere.
During the Service, led by the Revd Paul Rattigan, Canon Missioner at the Cathedral, representative Fairtrade products were offered. Members of the congregation, which included councillor representatives of the local authorities, were invited to light a candle to add to a Fairtrade Beacon, representing their continuing commitment to support Fairtrade. Videos of the work of the Fairtrade movement were shown, with time for reflection and prayer. Refreshments afterwards included tastings of Fairtrade wines and chocolate, courtesy of the Co-op, and Fairtrade tea and coffee, with homemade biscuits and cake using Fairtrade ingredients. Fairtrade flowers were also on display and there were stalls showing the work of the Fairtrade Movement, provided by the Minster School, the Co-op, Shared Interest (the investment fund providing financial support for Fairtrade), The Minster Shop and the Minster Justice Action Fairtrade Group.