Cathedral trials Fairtrade wine

Manchester, UK - Parishioners in Manchester could soon play their part in helping to ensure third world farmers get a fair crop price - by taking Communion.

Manchester Cathedral is introducing what it believes to be the world's first Fairtrade Communion wine.

About 70% of churches in the diocese already use some Fairtrade products and it is hoped the Chilean wine can be added to the list.

Clergy and parishioners can have their say during a wine tasting on Tuesday.

The Porterion Fairtrade Wine is imported from a co-operative in Chile by a company in Stone, Staffordshire.

Coffee alternative

The wine tasting is one of a range of events across the Diocese of Manchester during Fairtrade Fortnight.

To earn a Fairtrade label, firms must pay local producers a fair price, and invest further to improve working conditions and local sustainability.

The Dean of Manchester Cathedral, the Very Reverend Rogers Govender, said: "Manchester Diocese has been a Fairtrade Diocese since 2006 and 70 per cent of our churches are committed to serving only fairly traded tea and coffee.

"During Fairtrade Fortnight we are sampling the world's first Fairtrade communion wine to see whether our clergy and parishes might want to switch to Fairtrade wine too."

Mr Govender was joining parishioners and clergy to compare the fortified wine against other non-fairtrade varieties on Tuesday morning.

But if the 15% alcohol beverage is too strong for some palates before lunch, the cathedral is also offering Fairtrade coffee, tea and refreshments.