Faith Groups

Horsforth gallops to Fairtrade status

Horsforth has become Yorkshire’s newest Fairtrade Town.  The town on the north western edge of Leeds fulfilled all five goals in order to be awarded Fairtrade status.  The Fairtrade Town campaign, coordinated by Baptist Minister, Rev Matt Wright, engaged with all sections of the community, including community groups, workplaces, businesses and the local media.

Horsforth campaign group at the Farmers' Market

Horsforth campaign group at the Farmers’ Market

The Town Council was supportive and Councillor Janice Pritlove acted as the Council’s representative on the Fairtrade Steering Group that campaigned to achieve the status.  Churches Together in Horsforth also took up the baton to help the town to make this amazing achievement.  Many events were held in the run up to the status being awarded, including regular stalls at the Horsforth Farmers’ Market.  Matt Wright’s culinary skills were put to the test at a pancake making event and local MP Stuart Andrew came to the market to support the Fairtrade campaign.

Rev Matt Wright

Rev Matt Wright

Coordinator of Fairtrade Yorkshire, Mark Dawson, congratulated Matt and the group on their success.  “I know how much work has gone into this campaign and Matt and the team deserve to be thanked for everything they have done to make Horsforth a Fair Trade Town.  Horsfordians have reason to be thoroughly proud.”


Posted on May 16th, 2015 by Fairtrade Yorkshire News

“Think Chocolate” poster competition

ft-chocsThe Church of England Diocese of West Yorkshire and the Dales – which covers Huddersfield, Wakefield, Leeds, Bradford and Ripon – is running a poster competition open to anyone living in the diocese.

Simply design an A4 poster in any medium advertising Fairtrade chocolate or Fairtrade cocoa.

Certificates & Fairtrade Easter Eggs will be awarded to the winners in 3 age-group categories:

  • Adults (18+)
  • Secondary School Age
  • Pre-School & Primary School Age

To enter, scan the original artwork and email the image to Tina Walker at The name of the artist and their age-group should be written on the artwork, so that each piece is clearly identifiable.

Winners will be notified by email and asked to provide their original artwork for the Prize Presentation and Press

The closing date is 15 March 2015

The website of the Church of England Diocese of West Yorkshire and the Dales is at

Posted on January 19th, 2015 by Fairtrade Yorkshire

York marks World Fair Trade Day

International World Fair Trade Day (10th May) was celebrated in York with the holding of a Fair Trade market in the city’s Parliament Street.  A wide range of Fairtrade food and beverages was on sale, alongside fairly traded crafts, clothes, jewellery and accessories.  Local Fair Traders included: Fairer World, Alligator wholefoods, York Scarves and Peruvian Kids.

York Fair Trade Market

York Fair Trade Market

On the following day, a Fair Trade service was held at St. Lawrence’s church to mark the 10th anniversary of York as Fairtrade City.  Fr. Tim Jones lead the service and Sue Maskill of York Fair Trade Forum introduced the confession with the words of Martin Luther King.  Coordinator of Fairtrade Yorkshire, Mark Dawson, gave the address and talked about his research at the University of Leeds which is focussed on church action on Fair Trade.

The Fair Trade service at St. Lawrence's.

The Fair Trade service at St. Lawrence’s.

Following the service worshippers enjoyed a celebration in the church hall with refreshment and cakes and a chance to operate a pedal powered smoothie maker.

Posted on May 25th, 2014 by Fairtrade Yorkshire News

Doncaster Minster congratulates Fairtrade Doncaster

Church Warden, Clive House, Development Officer,Louise O'Brien and Vicar, Rev Paul Shackerley.

Church Warden, Clive House, Development Officer,Louise O’Brien and Vicar, Rev Paul Shackerley.

Senior staff at Doncaster Minster expressed their support for Fairtrade Doncaster.  The Metropolitan Borough of Doncaster is very active in its promotion of Fairtrade and towards the end of 2013 a new Fairtrade Borough Steering Group was set up to support work with businesses, schools, Doncaster College, faith and community groups.

Coordinator of Fairtrade Yorkshire, Mark Dawson, met with the Vicar of the Minster, Paul Shackerley, and members of his team, to discuss the role of the churches and Fairtrade in Doncaster Borough.

Mark commented ‘It was great to meet the team at the Minster which plays a strong role in the life of the town.  Fairtrade  Doncaster has gone from strength to strength and it is always a pleasure to visit the town.  It is important that Fairtrade has a strong presence here, not least because Doncaster is such a significant retail “hotspot.”


Posted on March 23rd, 2014 by Fairtrade Yorkshire News

Research Spotlight on Church Action on Fair Trade

Mark Dawson, a PhD student at the University of Leeds, is set to undertake an important study of Fair trade activism by churches.

Mark is part of the subject area of Theology and Religious Studies which has a long standing focus on understanding the role of religion in  local communities.

The study will focus on two Yorkshire communities and will look at how the churches in those areas connect with the wider public through their action in support of Fair Trade.

Mark Dawson (right) with the Archbishop of York

Mark Dawson (right) with the Archbishop of York

Mark will interview churchgoers and listen to their opinions on how churches relate to their local communities in their work on Fair Trade, including their relationship to: the Fairtrade Towns movement, local businesses, politicians, community groups, other faith groups and the general public.

The churchgoers will also be asked about how their work on Fair Trade relates to their own  faith.

The study will take three years to complete and will make a significant contribution to the body of research on Fair Trade activism.

The University of Leeds is a Fairtrade University and the flagship employer for the Yorkshire Fairtrade Region.

Posted on November 25th, 2013 by Fairtrade Yorkshire News

Leeds Sikh temple wins national Fairtrade award

Beeston Gurdwara

Beeston Gurdwara

The Sikh temple Guru Nanak Nishkam Sewak Jatha Leeds was presented with the ‘Best Outreach and Networking award’ by Fairtrade Foundation CEO, Michael Gidney, at the national Fairtrade Supporter Conference in London on 5th October.

The award recognises the achievements and creativity of Fairtrade campaigners and supporters during the first half of 2013, including the Fairtrade Fortnight campaign.

In Leeds, during Fairtrade Fortnight, members of GNNSJ-Leeds organised a number of events in which they showcased Fairtrade products and talked to the local community about Fairtrade.  They created their own material to highlight the links between the Fairtrade ethos and the Sikh faith and were involved in events such as: a national football tournament, a local lifestyle event and a wide range of activities at the Gurdwara.

Adam Gardner, competition judge and Communities Campaigns Manager at the Fairtrade Foundation said:

‘It’s a tough task picking winners from the vast amount of inspiring community action for Fairtrade across the UK. Each entry demonstrated the creativity, hard work and vision that epitomises the Fairtrade movement, and continues to bring about a better deal for more farmers and workers through selling their products as Fairtrade. 

The winners demonstrated these qualities in abundance, and we are looking forward already to see how they and other groups continue to build the movement for fairer trade in their communities in the coming year and beyond.’


Posted on November 4th, 2013 by Fairtrade Yorkshire News

Altaring the way we trade

Creative youngsters at St. John’s church in Ben Rhydding have made their contribution to ‘altar’ the way we trade.MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

Challenged by the Fairtrade Foundation to use Fairtrade packaging to create works of art, the children of Ben Rhydding designed and created this beautiful altar cloth.

Worshippers at the church will be reminded of the need for fairness and justice in trade.

Well done to the St. John’s youth group for all their hard work and creativity.

Posted on April 6th, 2013 by Fairtrade Yorkshire News

Bradford’s Fair Churches

Congratulations to Bradford Church of England Diocese for gaining Fairtrade Diocese status.

Many churchgoers across the Diocese have put in a great deal of effort and commitment to ensure that Bradford has won this accolade.  Well done to all involved.


Posted on December 15th, 2012 by Fairtrade Yorkshire News

Archbishop’s message for Fairtrade Yorkshire

The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu has sent us this message for Fairtrade Yorkshire:

“Last year estimated sales of Fairtrade products reached £1.32bn, which was a 12% increase on the previous year.  Fairtrade has been a massive success since its launch twenty years ago. Gradually but definitely, our shopping habits are changing.

The Archbishop of York on a visit to the Ivory Coast

In 2009 I visited the Ivory Coast to see the impact Fairtrade chocolate here would have on disadvantaged cocoa farmers there. It’s a country ground down by poverty and riven by conflict. Life expectancy and literacy are low.  In places where there had never been schools, the cooperatives are able, with the help of the Fairtrade premium and Nestlé, to create elementary education for their children and build a health centre serving local workers and their families.

In January 2012, Mr Fasseri from the Kavokiva Co-op on the Ivory Coast visited the Manor School in York, as part of the Archbishop of York’s Youth Leaders’ Programme. His picture is on the 4 bar KIT KAT. His initiative and drive were inspiring. It is people like him who, with our active goodwill, can change the fortunes of the poor. So keep up the good work to support and use the Fairtrade branded goods in as many places as possible where you live, it can make all the difference.”


Posted on July 6th, 2012 by Fairtrade Yorkshire News

Bishops Back Fairtrade Yorkshire


Three of Yorkshire’s bishops have given strong backing to the campaign for Fairtrade Yorkshire.


Bishop John of Ripon & Leeds has said:

‘Fair Trade is one of the great movements of our time.   It contributes to the welfare of people throughout the world and helps to ensure justice.   I am delighted to support the aim of Fairtrade status for Yorkshire.’




Bishop Tony of Pontefract:


‘I am very pleased to support the campaign to make ‘God’s Own County’ a Fairtrade county.  Supporting farmers in poor countries is so important for them.  They want to be able to help themselves and Fairtrade gives them a really good start’



Bishop Stephen of Wakefield:

‘I am delighted that Yorkshire is at the forefront of trying to achieve Fairtrade status. Justice for all people is central to the Christian Faith which is why so many churches support Fairtrade products. I very pleased indeed to be able to support this important initiative.’

Posted on June 2nd, 2012 by Fairtrade Yorkshire News