During the recent meeting of the Synod of NSW and ACT the body decided to encourage congregations to adopt the following ‘Three Goals for a Fairtrade Congregation’:
- Use Fairtrade tea and coffee for all meetings for which you have responsibility, e.g. after church, elders and church council meetings.
- Ensure other products that are used regularly in church gatherings are Fairtrade or ethically sourced.
- Promote Fairtrade in the local community through activities that are locally designed.
The Synod also resolved to set a goal that Fairtrade tea, coffee and other products, if possible, will be used and/or sold by more than 50% of the congregations in the Synod by the next full meeting of Synod.
The Synod is also challenging itself to do better and resolved to:
- (i) support and promote Fairtrade as a concept
- (ii) encourage the use and sale of Fairtrade products across the Synod
- (iii) serve only Fairtrade products (such as coffee and tea) at meetings it is responsible for.
As a result we’ve put together a selection of resources for congregations who are interested in learning more about Fairtrade, and what it might mean if they were to become a Fairtrade congregation.
As per usual, Darren Wright, Christian Education & Discipleship Worker would be more than happy to travel to your congregation/community (if you’re in the Riverina Presbytery) to help you discuss these issues, or to speak on the matter.
Article: An open letter to congregations in the Riverina Presbytery regarding FairTrade: Link
Article: Putting Faith Into Effect by David Sibley: Link
Bible Study & Worship Resources:
Fairtrade: Using Our Purchasing Power For Justice & Hope
People of faith seek both definition and guidance from God as we make choices in our lives. As we learned more about Fair Trade, we saw the convergence of its nine basic Key Principles with the Judeo-Christian teachings of justice. Therefore, creating a Bible Study that helps us understand and be actively involved in God’s vision for the well-being of all of creation excited us at Partners for Just Trade.
Fair Trade: Using Our Purchasing Power for Justice and Hope, walks the reader through the principles of Fair Trade by means of personal narration, Bible passages, questions for reader to reflect upon, and challenges to engage the reader in learning about Fair Trade. We provide a resource list for further study.
To use Fair Trade: Using Our Purchasing Power for Justice and Hope, you only need to have a Bible nearby although it might be helpful to have access to the suggested resources while doing the study.
You can do this study alone or with a group. It is divided into six segments. It can take as much or little time as you have; even a quick study will bring ideas and thoughts about how important our lifestyles are to the well-being of people we do not even know. A deeper study will take you to a university for classes or to the library for books or to the computer to find some websites.
“This booklet outlines the theological and ethical rationale not only for Fair Trade, but for the broader issue of ‘relational economics’ as well. The stories of transformation of both First World consumers and Third World producers by Fair Trade practices are moving, and the resources for practical change clear. This study guide can help move our hearts and our hands; I recommend it for congregations and households.”
Co-founder, Bartimaeus Cooperative Ministries, Oak View, CA,
Author and Activist
Why Should Christians Care About Fairtrade?
This Bible Study has been designed by people within the Salvation Army for youth groups. It is anticipated that young people, highly exposed by the media, might already have some awareness of social justice issues like Fair Trade. The study then, aims to leave room for young people to talk about what they already know, and share their knowledge with others who may not have heard about Fair Trade. We hope that young people will seek out some answers on their own, instead of being instructed by a leader. This study also assumes that many of the young people in your group will be familiar with matters of Christian faith and discipleship. Many of them won’t need a Sunday-school-type lesson, but instead an opportunity to connect and apply what they already know about Christianity to the issue of Fair Trade.
The questions attempt to generate discussion by being conceptual – rather than direct questions that require simple, confined answers. You can help generate discussion by leaving room for varied answers and perspectives on this issue that the young people will come with or develop as they do research on the spot.
Christian World Service – Fairtrade Worship Resources
CWS has a number of great resources for churches wanting to explore justice, equality, peace, world issues and action. Amongst these resources you’ll find a great collection of Fairtrade Fortnight worship resources that you can use in your own worship setting.
- Fair Trade Fortnight – May 2013 worship resources
- Fair Trade Fortnight – May 2012 Worship resources
- Fair Trade Fortnight – May 2011 Worship resources
- Fair Trade Fortnight – May 2010 Worship resources
- Fair Trade Fortnight – May 2009 Worship resources
- Fair Trade Fortnight – May 2008 Worship resources
- Fair Trade Fortnight – May 2007 Worship resources
Short Film: You Are What You Buy
Jesse Newman was commissioned by Keiraview Uniting Church, through the Order of St Stephen, to encourage the expression of youth spirituality in Wollongong. The project focussed on facilitating video and internet projects with a spiritual focus. The results of one of the projects, a ten-minute short film about Fairtrade is available on youtube and from Keiraview Uniting Church.
The DVD explains what Fairtrade is and gives some insight into its transformative potential.
If you are interested in social justice or in film or video production I strongly encourage you to have a look at the DVD. Perhaps you can show it at a group meeting or even during a church service. If your congregation has not yet received a copy of the DVD order one from http://keiraview.org
Sourced from Insights Magazine: Ten minutes of Fairtrade coming your way
Online Video: The Dark Side Of Chocolate
The channel 9 program in Australia recently screened a piece on chocolate and child labor, the clip originally aired on March 9, 2008 is acailable for people to access online.
On the eve of Easter, Sunday highlights child exploitation and trafficking in the harvesting of cocoa for chocolate. It is estimated that in the West African nation of the Ivory Coast alone, more than 600,000 children work on cocoa fields. Children in the cocoa fields are being exposed to dangerous practices such as the unprotected use of chemicals, carrying heavy loads, brush burning and using machetes. About half of these children do not go to school. There is also evidence of children being trafficked. The study estimated up to 12,000 children had been trafficked for cocoa in West Africa. Police in the Ivory Coast have liberated more than 200 children in just 12 months. Tim Costello from World Vision has visited this part of Africa and has witnessed the damage to children first hand.
Watch the piece on Sunday’s Website: The Dark Side of Chocolate
Movie/DVD: Black and Gold
As westerners revel in designer lattes and cappuccinos, impoverished Ethiopian coffee growers suffer the bitter taste of injustice. In this eye-opening expose of the multi-billion dollar industry, Black Gold traces one man’s fight for a fair price.
Check out information on the film, view the trailer and order the dvd: Black and Gold the movie
Amazing Grace – Film
The movie Amazing Grace is based on the life of William Wilberforce, an antislavery pioneer in the British Empire in the 18th Century. Elected to the House of Commons at the age of 21, and on his way to a successful political career, Wilberforce, over the course of two decades, took on the English establishment and persuaded those in power to end the inhumane trade of slavery.
The film has a strong message about the slave trade and how difficult it sometimes seems to stand up against injustice. William’s story is one that is both inspiring and challenging, and while some might suggest it’s not specifically about Fairtrade, it’s links are very obvious as it challenges our system that relies on slaves to produce foods.
The website for the movie has a number of resources and bible studies available for use in your community.
Link: Amazing Grace
A Thousand Fibres
Buying Fair Trade is a conscious choice. When consumers choose it, they often understand the basics of Fair Trade and are cognizant of the various parts of the supply chain, including the essential—yet often overlooked—role of the person who produces the product.
PJT brings you this film that explores the principles of Fair Trade based on real life experiences. Filmed in both Peru and the United States, this documentary bridges the gap between consumers and producers and helps viewers understand why Fair Trade is an important—and viable—way to do business.
The film’s goal is triple-fold: to broaden individuals’ knowledge about Fair Trade while heightening awareness of, and increasing demand for Fair Trade. Unlike most other films about Fair Trade, A Thousand Fibers explains how Fair Trade works in the world of commodities (like chocolate and coffee) as well as handcrafts, with a special focus on the lives of handcraft artisans in Peru.
A Video About Activism – You Are Not An Activist by BlimeyCow
So… now you’ve learnt a little about Fairtrade, what will you do?
More Fairtrade Video Resources:
The Fairtrade Resource Network has a fairly exhaustive list of video resources for people interested in exploring Fairtrade and it’s aims and objectives. The collection includes documentaries, interviews and much more, head over to their site to get a better idea as to what other video resources are out there.
Fairtrade.org.uk resources for churches
An ever-growing number of churches is making the connection between trade and poverty and committing to using Fairtrade products including tea, coffee, sugar and biscuits. You can read about the benefits of buying products with the FAIRTRADE Mark here .
Churches organise hundreds of events during Fairtrade Fortnight and throughout the year as well as including prayers and readings about Fairtrade in their worship. Faith groups continue to be key supporters of Fairtrade which is making a real difference to the lives of more than 7 million farmers, workers and their families in 59 developing countries.
Website: Don’t Trade Lives
Don’t Trade Lives is a new campaign by World Vision that aims to unite Australians against human trafficking and slavery. Human trafficking is a modern day slave trade. The buying and selling of people for exploitative labour is the third biggest crime in the world today behind drugs and arms. Every sector of Australian society can impact on human trafficking in our region. Join us in telling Australia “Don’t Trade Lives!”
Don’t Trade Lives exists to unite Australians against human trafficking and slavery. Together we will:
- Prevent people being trafficked
- Advocate for trafficked victims
- Tackle the causes of trafficking and slavery
The website of the Fair Trade Association of Australia and New Zealand Inc (the regional body bringing together all organisations and individuals interested and working in the fair trade movement) and Fairtrade Labelling Australia & New Zealand (the regional FLO Labelling Initiative).
Website: Stop The Traffic
There are people who want to take the most precious thing you have and sell it to those who will abuse it and wreck it… People trafficking is one of the worlds fastest growing illegal industries. It is happening right here, right now, on your doorstep. It is devastating the lives of millions of men, women and children each year.
With YOUR help STOP THE TRAFFIK will create awareness and understanding of this worldwide problem and call for change. Together WE will:
- Prevent the sale of people
- Prosecute the traffickers
- Protect the victims
Stop The Traffik has film resources, good buyer’s guides, stickers, promotional material, help for people wanting to do something and more.
More links on Fair Trade:
- Fair Trade Association of Australia and NZ
- Oxfam’s Fair Trade Campaign
- The Good Chocolate Guide UK (pdf file)
- CHOICE on Fair Trade
- Fair Go Trading
- The AlterEco Website
Want to do something?
- Stop The Traffik (mentioned above) also have a number of resources to help you respond to the issues raised by this post.
- Organise a local screening of Black and Gold the movie or Amazing Grace at your local cinema, all funds raised going to the project (You’ll need to clear this with the copyright holders of the films first though).
- Go on a chocolate fast, and get your school, your church, your university to join in, what would happen if everyone gave up chocolate for a year?
- Set up a fair trade stall in your local market, university, church and sell products that are Fair Trade only, provide opportunities for people to purchase products that are Fair.
- Change all your household, church, workplace, dorm coffee, tea and chocolate to Fair Trade.
- Partners for Just Trade are going to release a free down loadable bible study on Fair Trade in the near future.
Buying Fairtrade is not as difficult as it once was. Several companies that produce Fairtrade products are regularly stocked by our local supermarkets, and if yours doesn’t have them on the shelves you can usually request that they be brought in.
Republica produces a number of Coffee products, including beans, ground and freeze dried along with their fabulous hot chocolate which is regularly stocked in Woolworths.
Nerada produces a number of different types of tea that are regularly found on your supermarket shelves. Most of the Nerada range is now Fairtrade compliant.
Scarborough Fair products are also regularly stocked in supermarkets, they have a fairly large range of teas & chocolate and have been producing Fairtrade products for many years.
Also to keep an eye out for these brands:
- Oxfam (tea, coffee, chocolate spread – & a much larger range if you shop in an Oxfam store)
- Cadbury (Milk Chocolate only)
- Green & Blacks (Large chocolate range & cocoa)
- Whittakers Chocolate (Milk Chocolate only)
A more comprehensive list of Fairtrade products can be found on the Fairtrade Australia Website