- Mike CoupeCEO J SaInsburys
Empower farmers by persuading Sainsbury's to keep supporting Fairtrade
Sainsbury's have announced a pilot of their own 'fairly traded' initiative to replace the recognised 50% farmer owned and proven Fairtrade Mark. This will start in June and may roll out across coffee , bananas and other Fairtrade products. The Fairtrade Foundation have refused to back the scheme. Oxfam say it 'risks being a regressive step' and 'potentially confusing for consumers'. But most notably almost a quarter of a million African farmers have protested in an open letter to Sainsbury's CEO stating that the model will 'bring about disempowerment'. They say 'We are extremely concerned about the power and control that Sainsbury's seeks to exert over us...We see the proposed approach as an attempt to replace the autonomous role which Fairtrade brings and replace it with a model which no longer balances the power between producers and buyers'. Let's stand by our Fairtrade farmers and add our voice to theirs. Surely if UK shoppers make a stand they will think twice about rolling out the pilot?
- CEO J SaInsburys
We know you will be very busy going through all the questions being asked of your Fairtrade Tea disempowerment project and we all look forward to hearing your answers. Just thought we would save you some time and counting and let you know that you will have now received over 5300 emails as a result of this one petition. There are at least 4 other petitions that total the same amount. You already know that 220,000 farmers have asked you not to proceed with the pilot. And that Oxfam, Traidcraft, Christian Aid, Co-opUK, Women's Institute, CAFOD, Divine Chocolate and Banana Link have expressed their concern amongst others. And that over 1 million readers will have seen the Guardian article that explained how 4 of your executives put 'fear' in the African farmers, who said they 'feel betrayed' at their meeting in Kenya. 16000 comments and 20K social media shares were generated by this article. Meanwhile 3 million listeners will have heard you try to explain yourself ( but offer no comfort) on Radio 4 You and Yours. There is an increasing number of people talking about boycotting Sainsbury's, some have already walked and its doubtful that your shareholders will thank you for that. Anyway, if this is really a pilot, I think you may have enough evidence to suggest it has failed already. You can thank us for helping you on this analysis by giving us back our REAL Fairtrade. Thank you
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