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Fair Trade

A truck parks in a Wal-Mart parking lot in San Antonio in July’s blistering heat. A man desperate for water makes it inside the store asking for a drink. It’s discovered that the truck is full of people. Eight are already dead, two more die later, and others were critical with probable permanent damage. Vehicles […] Read More

In order to try to save trees and do a little bit toward helping the environment, I try to do a couple of things: I try to print double-sided (saving paper) and I try to re-use bits of paper on which I have only printed on one side (using them as scrap paper). I started […] Read More

You’re a nice person and a good Christian. You read a verse like James 5:1-6 condemning those who “failed to pay workers” while living in “luxury and self-indulgence” and breathe a sigh of relief. “Thank goodness I’ve never exploited workers who didn’t receive payment or any of that other stuff,” you think. You know horrible […] Read More

When Jesus told his disciples in the gospel of John that he was the “bread of life,” it meant that he would nourish people physically and spiritually. Jesus used food and fellowship to fill the empty stomachs of the poor around him, even those individuals who were outcasts because of sin (see Luke 15:1-2).  He […] Read More

U.S. citizens will average $770 in buying Christmas gifts in 2012, according to Gallup. While some may choose to curb the amount spent on gifts, it seems unlikely that celebrating the season by exchanging gifts will disappear. Nor am I suggesting that this is the goal toward which one should aim. There is nothing inherently […] Read More

Human trafficking is “the illegal and involuntary smuggling of a person across borders, often for the purposes of forced labor,” according to Julie Clawson in “Everyday Justice: The Global Impact of Our Daily Choices.”   Whether we choose to realize it or not, children are traded, sold and stolen in order to increase production for […] Read More

A scathing attack on fair trade from a free-market think-tank has led to a strong defense of the movement from the Fairtrade Foundation and from BMS World Mission.   Fair trade is an organized social movement that promises to pay producers a guaranteed price for their goods and a premium above the market price; the […] Read More

Nestle’s move into the fair trade chocolate market in the United Kingdom and Ireland received a cautious welcome from activists who have protested people-trafficking and forced child labor.   On Dec. 7, the chocolate giant announced the four-fingered versions of its KitKat bars will be the first to achieve the fair trade certification in January […] Read More

More American Catholics will be drinking “fair trade” coffee, thanks to a new partnership between a coffee worker cooperative and a Catholic relief agency. The CRS Coffee Project, announced Jan. 21 in a press release, is a joint initiative of Equal Exchange (a fair trade coffee) and Catholic Relief Services. The project intends to boost […] Read More