Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Fairly Traded: Introduction

What's Fair Trade?  Over the next few months Dawn and Carolyn will be telling us more about Fair Trade, and their efforts to have SPC designate as a Fair Trade Congregation.   

For the past several years the fair trade movement has been growing in the United States. Small groups of individuals have gathered to raise awareness about what fair trade is and why it is important. Soon those groups started to make whole towns, universities and schools fair trade. Now this enthusiasm to declare congregations fair trade is taking hold too.

In San Diego people of faith have been at the forefront of the fair trade movement and have shown leadership through the organization Fair Trade San Diego. They have felt called by their faith to support a movement that helps lift women, men and children in the Global South out of poverty. Fair trade is a system of trade that puts people, not profit first. Fair trade cooperatives are democratically run, guarantee healthy working conditions, no child or forced labor, gender equality and a livable wage. There are many different fair trade products for sale in stores and online. A short list of more common items include: coffee, sugar, tea, chocolate, ice cream, clothing, jewelry and children’s toys.

St. Paul’s Cathedral for the past several years has been supporting fair trade through educational outreach, serving fair trade coffee at coffee hour, selling fair trade items after church services and the annual Alternative Gift Expo.

Our baptismal covenant calls us to strive for justice and peace among all people and to respect the dignity of every human being. Through our purchases of fair trade items we are affirming the dignity of all God’s people.

I hope that you enjoy the following video, which demonstrates some of the impact Fair Trade has on growers of cacao!

Dawn Stary  

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