Sisters were having none of it as they urged a supermarket to check their fair trade policy.

The nuns from Hertfordshire headed to Sainsbury’s head office in Holborn, London last Wednesday to beg the supermarket to reconsider getting rid of Fairtrade goods.

The supermarket giant announced on May 1 that they planned to swap products with Fairtrade certification for its own fairly traded products on its own brand Red Label.

Sisters were doing it for themselves and 150,000 other people protesting the change.

Rosary Priory Convent’s Sister Karen Marguerite d’Artois from Bushey and two other nuns laid down the gauntlet for Sainsbury’s CEO Mike Coupe to see the impact Fairtrade has on poor communities overseas.

They brought an oversized-suit case and prop plane ticket to highlight their plea which has been backed by almost 40 MPs and now they want the people of Hertfordshire to get involved in the campaign.

The change may mean that farmers and producers lose direct control and money raised from their products

Sister Karen has been an advocate for the Catholic Agency for Overseas Development (CAfOD) hopes that raising awareness will save the supermarket from kicking the Fairtrade habit.

She said: “I’ve always been a Fairtrade supporter, I first joined in 1999 and use it to engage with young people as they are really keen on Fairtrade.

“We have an obligation to support Fairtrade; we as a nation have so much and we should share some of that.

“Coffee and tea are luxury products – they shouldn’t be as cheap as water; that really takes away the dignity of the producer and we have an obligation to help to protect them.”

A Sainsbury’s spokesperson said, “Our Fairly Traded tea pilot will deliver even more benefits to farmers in Africa than the current Fairtrade model.

“We should be judged on the benefits we can bring to some of the most deprived communities in the world - not by which logo is on the packet of our tea.”

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