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Last Updated: Sunday, 27 February, 2005, 16:21 GMT
Diocese embraces Fairtrade status
Nicholas Reade
Fairtrade offers coffee producers in the developing world a better deal
Churchgoers in Lancashire have been celebrating after the Blackburn Diocese was awarded Fairtrade status.

The Bishop of Blackburn, the Rt Rev Nicholas Reade, said more than half of the parishes in the diocese had signed a "Fairtrade Resolution".

The resolution includes a pledge to use fairly traded products like coffee and tea at church functions.

Parishes will also promote Fairtrade and trade justice "through prayer, worship, study and action".

Lancaster and Liverpool were awarded Fairtrade status last March.

All tea and coffee served in their town halls now comes from sources that guarantee to give a decent wage to producers in developing countries.

UK sales of products with the Fairtrade Mark rose by 90% between 2000 and 2002 to an estimated retail value of 63m.

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