Fair trade is a trading partnership based on dialogue, transparency, and respect that seeks greater equity in international trade. It contributes to sustainable development by offering better trading conditions to, and securing the rights of, marginalized producers and workers – especially in the Global South.
CRS believes that fair trade, at its heart, is about building respectful, enduring relationships. Looking through a wider lens, this embodies a comprehensive set of criteria, including, at a minimum, the following commitments:
- Paying a fair wage in the local context
- Offering employees opportunities for advancement
- Providing equal employment opportunities for all people, particularly the most disadvantaged
- Caring for God’s creation by engaging in environmentally sustainable practices
- Being open to public accountability
- Building long-term trade relationships
- Providing healthy and safe working conditions within the local context
- Providing financial and technical assistance to producers whenever possible
SERRV Fair Trade Store
The Office for Peace and Justice sources Fair Trade gifts, food, clothing, jewelry, etc. through SERRV, a Fair Trade supplier directly connected to Catholic Relief Services. Many SERRV products are made in communities around the world where CRS is active.
Fair Trade Campaigns
The Office for Peace and Justice is also part of Fair Trade Campaigns, a grassroots movement helping Towns, Universities, Congregations and Schools adopt Fair Trade practices and policies. Your parish or school can start a Fair Trade Campaign too! Learn more on the Fair Trade Campaigns website.