Fair trade is a fad

Now that is cleeeeaaarly a myth. But a prevalent one at that. We have been looking at trade justice issues at our Fuel group (mission focused discipleship/leadership training) the last couple of weeks. One Fuelee thoughtfuly proposed that the biggest obstacle to Fair Trade was the idea that it is a trend that a few excitable people are jumping on the bandwagon of. See here in NZ it is quite a different scene. Elsewhere, I take it that Fair Trade is taken for what it is- a sustainable pathway to development, but here the lack of knowledge means that people relegate it to being a fashion statement. In fact, Kiwi Christians can even be heard debating whether it is a worthwhile cause: open mouthed wonder.

On a fabulously positive note the territory is apparently very optimistically considering our rejuvenated proposal to become a FT territory, and there could even be chance for my role at the Social Policy Unit to include developing these policies etc.

AND we have 500 fair trade REVOLUTION tee's being currently shipped from Ozzy shores for our Easter shenanigans- yahoo and wowza! AND the War Cry are publishing my article on FT for FT fortnight (end of April) which will hopefully get a bit of eyetime.

So...although sometimes I am desirous to work for an organisation that has all these global issues sussed in a smooth sailing kind of a way (ie. my amazing sibling Joanna Taylor's employer Tearfund) I really need to practice patience (argh, I am terrible at that) and remember that while we may be a bit behind on trade justice stuff, in many other areas- e.g social policy, the NZ Army is really making waves. Praise the Lord.


Stevo said...

Hey Luc, I think that generally people are too removed from third world poverty. It's difficult, maybe impossible to understand unless you've seen, even a little bit of what poverty is. Also its difficult to see why buying a certain brand of coffee might have an impact on an individual in another country, either negativley or positivley.

Tim said...

Great stuff and I agree. Issues like Fair Trade are very trendy among young Christians right now. I see them wearing their wrist bands and even see many of them posting the cute little banner on their blogs, but I question how many of them are actively working to be a part of the solution. In fact, I question how many of them even know which businesses participate in free trade and which ones don’t. Evidence of this is how many of them show up to Make Poverty History rallies wearing Gap, Levis and Nikes.

JoJo said...

I absolutely agree but am absolutely convinced that we're on the start of a really exciting journey with this. Fairtrade and ethical trade have become trendy which is having really exciting repercussions over here. 3 major clothing chains have just launched either fair or ethical ranges of clothing. Are they doing it cos they have been convicted about 3rd world poverty? Nope. They're doing it cos it's fashionable but ultimately at least they're doing it. 3 years ago there were only 150 Fairtrade items available. Now there are 1000. Corporate giants are realising that they can do conscience and profit. The RED stuff (courtesey of Bono) is an awesome move. Dodge as companies making a difference to the HIV/AIDS pandemic. I'm not saying the ends justify the means but the trendier this is, the more people buy in and the more people that buy in, the easier it becomes for the half-hearted to make a difference. And woopy doo to that I say.
Written way to much. I apologise muchly!

JoJo said...

oh, and I well want one of those t-shirts!

lucy AR said...

jo theres one with your name on it