Christians get behind Fairtrade Fortnight

Christians are holding special events and taking part in campaigns spread the word about fairly traded goods this week.

Birmingham curate the Reverend David Edgerton has launched a Twitter campaign to share his different fairtrade discoveries with his followers throughout Lent.

He is sharing a different product each day via @knowlecurate and encouraging other Twitter users to post their finds using the hashtag #fairtrade fortnight.

"I've been working in partnership with local shops to encourage them to offer a wider choice of Fairtrade products. If we all started tweeting during Fairtrade Fortnight when we spotted fairtrade goods, this would encourage more goods on the shelves," he said.

Rev Edgerton has invited representatives of Cadbury to speak at Knowle parish church and explain why the company supports fairtrade and what it means in practice.

The events are part of Fairtrade Fortnight, which got underway today, and churches across the country will be taking part.

The Archbishop of York Dr John Sentamu expressed his support for the Fairtrade Foundation's campaign launched today calling for urgent action to support the 500 million smallholder farmers who produce most of the world's food despite accounting for half of the world's undernourished people.

From today until June, Fairtrade Foundation will be running a virtual campaign in which people can log onto its website to turn themselves into foldable 'mini-marchers'. These will appear in paper form in Parliament Square on 4 March, with the final petition being delivered to David Cameron on World Fair Trade Day in May.

"I'm proud to be supporting this year's Fairtrade Fortnight to plead with the government to do more for small hold farmers," the Archbishop said.

"I'm delighted to be sending my paper avatar to join thousands of others for Fairtrade's march on Parliament during Fairtrade Fortnight."

At St Paul's Cathedral in London, a model made from Fairtrade products and packaging will be on display at the west end of the building throughout Fairtrade Fortnight.

Exeter Diocese is launching Heavenly Recipes, an ebook of fairtrade recipes from Devon using locally produced food to celebrate the fortnight.

Manchester Diocese's Sustainability Exhibition will host stalls, seminars, networking and other events, while churches in Oxford Diocese are being invited to sign a parish pledge to become a fairtrade church.

The Bishop of Burnley and Acting Bishop of Blackburn, Rt Reverend John Goddard, is using the fortnight to encourage support across Lancashire for The Real Easter Egg campaign.

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