THE SALVATION ARMY
Auckland, 10th October 2006
Issued on the Authority of The Salvation Army, New Zealand Fiji & Tonga Territory
God and the Salvation Army drink to global justice
The Salvation Army has asked all of it's members to consider switching their current brands of tea and coffee to Fair Trade brands in order to support tea growers in the developing world. In a leaflet that went out to all members this week The Salvation Army sketched a biblical justification for their new fair trade policy. Campaign organiser Lucy Aitkenread said "if God was ever in need of a caffeine fix, it would be a fair trade one."
Fair Trade is an alternative model of trade that ensures farmers and producers in the third world get a fair deal.
National Leader Commissioner Garth McKenzie explains that Fair Trade "helps farmers and growers, it increases their standard of living, and helps support their families with things we take for granted such as health and education." He encourages all Salvationists to "be positively involved, so demonstrating an active concern for trade justice"
Some Salvation Army workplaces have been using Fair Trade tea and coffee for some time. The Auckland headquarters changed its brand of beverages last year, becoming New Zealand's first official Fair Trade Workplace. Lucy Aitkenread says "The products are a tiny bit more expensive, but the quality is great."
The Salvation Army's Fair Trade policy is being launched this week to coincide with the Make Poverty History Campaign's focus on Trade Justice. To commence the week a resource pack has been sent to every Salvation Army centre informing them about Fair Trade and where to buy products from.
Linda Broom, the Fair Trade Coordinator from Oxfam says "It is up to us as consumers to make trade fair for struggling coffee and tea growers in the developing world - it is fantastic that the Salvation Army is taking a strong stance in favour of trade justice by choosing Fair Trade."