Scripure reminds us that in our Christian lives we should treat both our immediate neighbours and those on whom our actions have an impact in the wider world with respect and justice.
Supporting and taking part in the Fairtrade movement is an important way in which we, as a church, can do this. Old Saint Paul’s has gradually worked towards becoming a Fairtrade Church: using only Fairtrade tea, coffee and sugar as well as regularly holding a Fairtrade stall in the hall after High Mass on the third Sunday of every month, with extra events held at other times.
The poor of the world suffer most at the hands of conventional ‘unfair’ trading structures and practices which can lead to the exploitation and marginalisation of the poorest and most powerless members of society. The Fairtrade movement seeks to challenge these injustices. It is only part of the solution but enables producers to lift himself or herself and his or her community out of poverty.
Through commitments to long-term relationships and building the capacity of producer groups, Fairtrade gives producers the confidence to plan and invest for the future and the ability to compete in international or local market places. Consumers benefit from being able to buy quality products, knowing that others have not been exploited through the production process.