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CRS Ethical Trade

Equal Exchange: Who We Are and What We Believe In

"The many situations of inequality, poverty and injustice, are signs not only of a profound lack of fraternity, but also of the absence of a culture of solidarity. New ideologies, characterized by rampant individualism, egocentrism and materialistic consumerism, weaken social bonds, fuelling that “throw away” mentality which leads to contempt for, and the abandonment of, the weakest and those considered “useless." In this way human coexistence increasingly tends to resemble a mere do ut des which is both pragmatic and selfish." -- Pope Francis, World Day of Peace message, 2014.

The CRS Ethical Trade Program creates opportunities and relationships to make trade fairer for poor people overseas, through awareness about our consuming decisions. Fair Trade is founded on Catholic social teaching principles, especially the dignity of the human person and the dignity of work, and on right relationships between us and the poor overseas who created what we consume.

Fair Trade means that workers will get fair wages for the work they do.  Fair Trade gives us an avenue to bring our Catholic morality to consuming choices.

CRS' Fair Trade program focuses on coffee, handcrafts and chocolate.

Every year CRS recruits and trains a select group of volunteers from across the country to serve as CRS Fair Trade Ambassadors.  We are excited to announce that Jean Gorczyca, from St. John Vianney Parish, Colonia, and Karen Castellon, St. Bernard of Clairvaux Parish, Bridgewater, have been trained by CRS and now serve as Ambassadors for the diocese.  Watch for Fair Trade sales at parishes, the Harvest of Hope dinner, or other events.  Jean and Karen can help you run your own Ethical Trade event at your institution, too.

In the meantime, you can always go to to:

-order Ethical Trade items from CRS

-join the online Fair Trade Network to stay updated on Fair Trade news

-host a Fair Trade event in your community with CRS resources

-convert your office or parish to a place that serves only Fair Trade tea and coffee

-run a Fair Trade Giving Tree this Advent.