Supporting Fair Trade

Fair Trade refers to trade in which fair prices are paid to producers, artisans and farmers in developing countries. I firmly believe in the goodness of helping someone to help themselves, and Fair Trade is one way to do that. Endeavoring to support the efforts of people in struggling nations to thrive and support themselves and their families makes the world a better place.

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There are standards for obtaining Fair Trade certification and many organizations are working to promote the ethically produced products. This month I will be hosting a Fair Trade sale with some church friends to bring awareness to this worthwhile cause. We’ll be working with Catholic Relief Services Ethical Trade and one of their nonprofit partners, Servv, which has been involved in Fair Trade for over 60 years. I’m so excited about this opportunity to in some small way shed a spotlight on the principles of Fair Trade and showcase some beautiful handcrafted products.

Today I’d like to share with you a little about the marvelous work of Catholic Relief Services and their efforts to uplift struggling artisans and farmers in impoverished areas of the world. The information comes directly from their main website as well as their ethical trade site.

CRS eases suffering and provides assistance to people in need in more than 100 countries, without regard to race, religion or nationality. CRS works with organizations around the world to help poor and vulnerable people overcome emergencies, earn a living through agriculture and access affordable health care.

CRS Ethical Trade is a celebration of the dignity of work. It’s a community of fair trade believers dedicated to improving the lives of the world’s most vulnerable by choosing to consume differently. Together, we’re creating a better world through education, advocacy and conscientious purchasing.

Our partners are bringing fair prices, safer working conditions and environmentally sustainable practices to poor and disadvantaged communities around the globe. But that’s only the beginning: With every purchase, a donation is made to the CRS Fair Trade Fund. The Fund invests in CRS projects around the world. We’re helping farmers adapt to climate change, improving access to markets and supporting critical education and advocacy initiatives in the United States.

When you purchase fair trade products, you are living out our Gospel call to care for the poor. Fair trade recognizes the dignity of work of artisans and farmers, and when you purchase fair trade products, you are standing in solidarity with our brothers and sisters around the world.

If you’d like to support CRS Ethical Trade, you can do so by clicking the ethical trade link provided above. Once there you will find further links to browse specific categories such as home décor, jewelry, religious items, coffee, tea, chocolate, and apparel among others. There’s even a wholesale section in case you’re in a position to carry fair trade items in your own shop. Many of the products are unique handcrafted items you won’t easily find elsewhere. Finally, there are many Fair Trade shops throughout the country and online. Just search “fair trade” and you’ll find them.

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