Is there value in fair trade? My response?
Why: Because you are valuing people and not products or consumables (coffee, tea, chocolate, etc.).
This value affects all of us, globally. “Why/could it affect me, here, in the US,” you ask? The greater value that is placed on fair trade principles (no child labor, slave labor, human trafficking, exploitation, fair wages, etc.) the greater the moral standard and high value placed on humanity. The lower the expectation and value placed on humanity, the more slippery the slope, scaling downhill quickly.
Fair trade helps to ensure that people are valued for the unique qualities, talents, and abilities they have (or potential to have) and use. It encourages hope and a future. Unfair trade practices enforces the devaluation of humanity, using people as currency (or a type of product), only as valuable as their immediate use. This is not why we are here and not our intended purpose here on earth. We are created to worship and give glory to God. It cannot be glorifying to God to abuse and exploit His creation.
Fair trade has helped me to see the world with new eyes: while someone may not have the skills (either by choice or force) to bring in income with dignity, they certainly have potential, worth and value to have the opportunity to do so. He came to give and invest in us, that we might live forever in dignity and salvation with Him.
For you and me, we take that gift and pass it on (seeing others through His eyes) that they might have dignity, sustainable income, and understand their own value. Once you understand who made you and the great purpose He has for you, you cannot let go of the value you hold in the eyes of the Maker.
When you really understand…I mean really see how He sees you…
useful for Kingdom work
…the value you place in others and their work is seen through new eyes. His eyes.
Yes, the poor will always be with us. But that doesn’t mean they have to be viewed as a problem or explioted as a commodity. What it does mean, is that they are to viewed as people. Just like you and me. With hopes, dreams, joy, excitement, and wonder at the world. Fair trade is about value. But not value as the world would describe in terms of currency or commodity. But value as a creation unlike any other.
I love fair trade because it challenges me to see people and not things or products.
What do you think?