Today: 26 October 2014
 
 

  

Trade justice 


Adriano Kalili, tea worker

The Fairtrade premium on Traidcraft teas is helping to provide new classrooms and equipment, local health dispensaries and fresh water at the Kibena tea estate in Tanzania. Individual workers, including tea plucker Adriano Kalili (left), who features on the new Traidcraft packaging, are also benefiting. The fair wage he receives means he has been able to build a three-bedroomed house for his wife, Alizeta, and their three children–and the Fairtrade premium has helped to provide the roof.

One billion people around the world struggle to survive on less than $1 a day.

Human enterprise is one of our richest resources; everyone could be fed, clothed and housed if only the benefits of trade were shared fairly. Sadly, shamefully, they’re not. Those who have the most continue to profit, and those who have the least continue to lose out.

World trade is dominated by a small group of very rich nations. Huge international businesses control more money than some developing countries. Surpluses from the developed world are dumped in the markets of the developing world, destroying the livelihoods of local traders, while complex regulations and punishing tariffs frustrate the attempts of poorer producers to sell into rich markets.

‘Fair trade’ seeks trade justice by:

  • trading with poor producer groups, helping them to develop skills and sustainable livelihoods
  • paying fair prices, which cover the full cost of production and pay a living wage
  • supplying credit when needed
  • encouraging the fair treatment of all workers and good conditions for them
  • building long-term relationships, rather than short-term commercial advantage.

The UK is the world’s largest fair trade market, with sales worth more than £300 million a year. Globally, the fair-trade market is estimated to be worth almost £800 million—just a tiny fraction of the world’s $10 trillion of trade each year. So there’s still a lot to do!

Fair trade is inspired by a vision of a just and fairer world, and is supported by many people, including Christians. Some fair trade organisations, like Traidcraft and Tearcraft, are based on the example and teachings of Jesus—on the principles of love, justice and service.

Jesus is biased towards the poor, and gets angry about the way they are disregarded. I think he would angered by the way unfair trade keeps millions trapped in poverty, against the backdrop of a world of unparalleled richness.

What drives Traidcraft is our vision of a world where trade is just, and people and communities can flourish. We work with anyone who shares that vision, whether or not they are people of faith.

Enforced poverty and gross inequality are affronts to the goodness and justice of God. They demand our response, and one of the best ways to respond is by supporting fair trade.

So when you shop, seek out the fairly traded option (and be suspicious of overly cheap clothing). Many products carry the Fairtrade mark, and there are even more products supplied by the growing number of fair trade shops, traders and online businesses.

You can donate to charities like Tearfund and Traidcraft Exchange to support their work, and you can get involved in their campaigns and those of the Trade Justice Movement. We can change the way the world trades. It’s simple, it’s easy—and it’s right.


Explore this subject in more depth

Pray: Lord God, you grieve for those who suffer. Let it not be at my hands. Remind me to seek out fairly traded products and to do all I can to make life easier for those who have less than me. Amen.

Read why Jesus said that more is demanded of those who have much

Watch a video clip about Traidcraft

Find out about the Fairtrade movement

Find out about Trade Justice Movement

Discover what action you can take to seek trade justice

Campaign with Traidcraft

Shop online with Traidcraft (food & drink, gifts, clothing and more)

Shop online with Gossypium

Visit Tearfund's website




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