Coffee, chocolate, tea and cotton can all be produced by farmers and workers earning exploitative wages, child labourers, or in environmentally damaging ways. Looking for the Fairtrade Mark removes the shadow of doubt. When you make your coffee Fairtrade, you can be certain farmers are paid a fair price for produce, environmental standards are improved, and communities are supported to build better futures. Buying Fairtrade chocolate gets us closer to a world without child labour and helps eradicate the practice in cocoa-growing countries like Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire. More than 1.6 million farmers and workers are part of the Fairtrade system in 75 different countries.
A cup of Fairtrade tea supports the fight for gender equality in an industry that has a high number of female workers picking tea leaves, but can deny women their rights or make it hard for children to go to school. Cotton and banana crops can have a terrible effect on the environment, with harmful pesticides and chemicals ending up in waterways; not to mention the health costs to the farmers. Fairtrade’s environmental standards mean your new shirt doesn’t have to ‘cost the earth’. Literally. And spotting the Fairtrade Mark on sports balls ensures a fair price has been paid to the people making them, and that their children are also on the football field, not in a factory.
Fairtrade Fortnight is a chance to buy a better future for farmers and workers around the world. Next time you shop, look for the Fairtrade Mark and remove the shadow of doubt about where your groceries came from.
Look for Fairtrade Australia on Facebook.
Resources for 2020 – linked to Lectionary Readings.
You created a beautiful world for all your children.
As we taste and smell the fruits of this creation
help us to remember those who farm the land to grow them.
Help us live in a partnership of love and support
with those who produce our food and drink
so that we might enable others to feed their families
and create a sustainable future. Amen
Lord, forgive our silence.
Forgive our reluctance to speak up for others.
Forgive our reliance on goods which have been produced unfairly
at the expense of the poor.
Forgive our lack our awareness of how our clothes are manufactured, our food produced and our mistaking unneeded goods for essentials.
Lord enter the silence of our hearts
and lift them up with fresh understanding
derived from the Wisdom contained in your Word.
May we be ambassadors for Christ in bringing reconciliation between producer and consumer,
those exploited and those who benefit from their exploitation.
May all our labour be valued and rewarded justly.
May our lifestyles reflect a care for creation and humanity.
May we appreciate the gift of life and in so doing respect the lives of all God’s children.
Lord, you reconciled the world to God
through your suffering on the cross.
May your reconciling power
make us one with all who need fairness in their trading and systems which promote justice. Amen
(Source: Rev. Vaughan Jones, Harecourt URC)
This prayer is taken from the material Traidcraft has produced to celebrate Fairtrade Fortnight. For more resources, worship material and stories visit TraidCraft.
As we boil our kettle and prepare our brew…
Make us mindful of those whose livelihoods depend on us:
The farmers, planters and pickers,
The packers, dealers and merchants,
The transporters, blenders, shop assistants and supermarket owners. Let it be for us a matter of simple justice and fair trade.
We pray especially for … (mention local shops and
As we drink from our next cup…
Make us mindful of the many places we share this brew with:
China, Sri Lanka and India,
Kenya, Malawi and Indonesia,
From the past and the present.
Let it be for us a matter of simple justice and fair trade
We pray especially for … (mention some of the producers featured in the material from Traidcraft or those in The People Behind Your Cuppa fact sheets).
As we take time to share our next tea break together…
Make us mindful of the times when we have sat down and chatted.
Sharing in friendship
Pouring out our hurts
And enjoying a laugh
Let it be for us a matter of simple justice and fair trade
We pray especially for those known to us who need our prayers at the time… (silent or open prayer)
As we purchase our next packet of tea…
Make us mindful of the benefits of fair trade
The farmers and producers whose lives and communities have been transformed
Through fair wages, good working conditions and the extra security that comes with fair trade certification
And the organisations work tirelessly to achieve trade justice
Help us to support them, both practically and in prayer as they seek to support some of the world’s poorest producers Let it be for us a matter of simple justice and fair trade.
Lord we thank you for this world which you created, which you love, and which you are reconciling to yourself.
In a world where unjust global trade laws and unrighteous western consumerism darken the plight of those without influence and without a voice,
Make us a holy people.
Make us aware of the effects of our spending habits,
Make us God-fearing and righteous in the way that we go shopping.
May we worship you not only as we focus on you here today, but as we wander around the shops and tomorrow. May we seek to please you not only with our praises today, but with our choice of brands tomorrow.
May we honour you not only as we gather here today, but as we pack our shopping tomorrow.
May our spending habits bring health and healing to this world.
Forgive us for the part we play in exploiting the distant poor by the way that we shop.
Help us instead to support a ministry of true retail therapy, where healing and wholeness are experienced not merely by those who buy, but by those who produce our goods.
In the sweat shops that make our clothes, Amongst the slaves who produce our chocolate,
On the plantations that produce our coffee and tea, Bring the light of justice and economic fairness,
By your grace, enable us to live in such a way that may we help and not hinder your work of reconciling the world to you.
(Source: Faith and Society Team, Baptist Union of Great Britain)