Care for the Environment (and our own health) :

A shocking 62% of hens in the UK are still confined to battery cages and factory farmed chickens live out their short live in a space less than a sheet of A4 paper. You can change this by voting with your shopping basket. The cost of free range chicken, according to EU studies, would be as little as 15p more for a 1.5 kg chicken – and the birds are healthier! So think about it the next time you buy eggs or a chicken.

Ethical Websites:
Two new areas on the BBC website are worth checking out:- Thread (www.bbc.co.uk/thread) which is a fashion magazine focusing on clothes that avoid suffering for people, animals and planet, and Bloom (www.bbc.co.uk/bloom) which offers smart choices for the carbon conscious and gives us lots of ideas to reduce our carbon footprint.

Why Bother with Fair Trade:
“If you choose to buy non-Fair Trade products, you are actively choosing to contribute to the poverty of others.” – strong words from John Sentamu, Anglican Archbishop of York, but perhaps we need this kind of reminder of the power we have to help others with our purchasing choices. For us, the extra cost means less money for the “extras” of life, for the producers, it means the ability to afford the necessities!

Fair Trade – the Facts :
The EU is trying to finalise trade deals to open up markets in developing countries for multinational companies which could destroy the livelihoods of local farmers and employees. Visit www.wdm.org.uk to get the facts.

Campaigning does work!:
As a result of campaigning by a number of organisations and developing countries, the UN Convention on Biological Diversity has agreed to keep the moratorium on Terminator seeds, the use of which would have threatened the rights of indigenous groups to save and cultivate local seed varieties and given power to agribusinesses to increasingly control food production. The developments and use of Terminator seeds affects all of us, not just the developing world. Read the report on www.progressio.org.uk for more information.

Human Trafficking :
This is a $32bn industry! – a shocking statement and a shocking fact! Trafficking includes the use of children, women and men for sexual exploitation, forced labour, begging. Read some of the facts on the UN website www.ungift.org The “industry” is closer to home than we may like to think.