Fair Trade Ministry
The Fair Trade Ministry serves to expand our worship of God and commitment to daily living of our shared Catholic values through using our economic power in a mindful and compassionate manner that respects the dignity of the human person and God’s creation.
The Fair Trade Ministry provides reflection of how our choices impact our fellow sisters and brothers as well as all of God’s creation and how we might consider changing our actions; direct action on the issue by ensuring all coffee and tea served at Church functions are FT and sell directly to our parishioners; and opportunities to transform the mainstream corporate model through directly contacting our lawmakers and companies and making our voices heard at the highest levels of decision making.
What Is Fair Trade?
“Fair Trade is based on the principle that people should earn a fair profit from the items they produce. Fair Trade guarantees fair wages to disadvantaged artisans, farmers and workers. Fair Trade connects these producers with people…who understand that the choices we make every day as consumers have the power to make the trading system work better for our brothers and sisters overseas.” (Catholic Relief Services)
The Principles Of Fair Trade
- Create Opportunities for Economically and Socially Marginalized Producers
- Develop Transparent and Accountable Relationships
- Build Capacity
- Promote Fair Trade
- Pay Promptly and Fairly
- Support Safe and Empowering Working Conditions
- Ensure the Rights of Children
Why Should Catholics Care?
“We can understand Jesus’ command to his disciples: “You yourselves give them something to eat!” (Mk 6:37): it means working to eliminate the structural causes of poverty and to promote the integral development of the poor, as well as small daily acts of solidarity in meeting the real needs which we encounter.” Pope Francis, Evangelii gaudium
“The word “solidarity” is a little worn and at times poorly understood, but it refers to something more than a few sporadic acts of generosity. It presumes the creation of a new mindset which thinks in terms of community and the priority of the life of all over the appropriation of goods by a few.” Pope Francis, Evangelii gaudium
“We consider it our duty to reaffirm that the remuneration of work is not something that can be left to the laws of the
marketplace; nor should it be a decision left to the will of the more powerful…workers must be paid a wage which allows them to live a truly human life and to fulfill their family obligations in a worthy manner.” Pope John XXIII, Mother and Teacher
“It is good for people to realize that purchasing is always a moral—and not simply—economic act. Hence the consumer has a specific social responsibility, which goes hand-in-hand with the social responsibility of the enterprise.” Pope Benedict XVI , Caritas in Veritate
What Are Catholics Doing?
Catholic Relief Services (CRS) is heavily involved in the Fair Trade movement. CRS is the official international humanitarian agency of the Catholic community in the United States. CRS partners with several Fair Trade non-profit organizations such as SERRV, Equal Exchange, and Ten Thousand Villages to provide direct and convenient purchasing of Fair Trade products from reputable organizations. As a bonus, for all products purchased through CRS, a portion of the dollars spent will be directed back to CRS to continue carrying out their live-saving work.