Activist Faith

Activist Faith

Fair Trade Is Only Fair

I’ve been doing a little research lately on Christian involvement in the fair trade movement. Here’s what I’m learning:

1. Christians are woefully lacking in support fair trade efforts: Christians are doing a lot of great things, but fair trade is not really among them from what I can find. Considering the emphasis in Scripture regarding ethical treatment of workers and loving your neighbor as yourself, this is really concerning to me.

2. Christians involved in fair trade are amazing people: Rather than just giving money to the poor, long-term thinkers are working to empower those in difficult situations to make an income and have some dignity in the process. People with disabilities, refugees, people with leprosy, HIV/AIDS, and other terminal illnesses, and former slaves are all involved in Christian run fair trade efforts that are changing lives now and for eternity. Good examples include Worldcrafts and Pura Vida Coffee.


3. Churches and Christian retailers must lead the way: Tough questions remain for leaders of churches and Christian retailers. Here are a few to consider:

  • Does your church serve only fair trade coffee and tea?
  • Does your local Christian store sell fair trade cards and gifts? (Many are made in the same inhuman factories as the big box retailers activists rail against. Shouldn’t Christian retailers be selective about the sources of their products to remove any forms of slave labor or labor injustices?)
  • Is your church doing anything to empower those working in fair trade initiatives around the world, especially among Christian brothers and sisters? (For example, Worldcrafts allows people and churches the ability to host parties to buy products to support artisans in developing nations. Why isn’t every church in North America participating in this or a similar endeavor?)

I’ll be posting more on this, but here’s the big question: If we care for those in need, what are we doing to show it? Fair trade efforts are one of the best methods to show good while empowering those in need with a way to support themselves and their families. Consider how you could be part of the solution in this area.



DILLON BURROUGHS is an author, activist, and co-founder of Activist Faith. Dillon served in Haiti following the epic 2010 earthquake and has investigated modern slavery in the US and internationally. His books include Undefending Christianity, Not in My Town (with Charles J. Powell), and Thirst No More (October). Discover more at

Comments Post the First Comment »
post a comment

Post a Comment

By submitting these comments, I agree to the terms of service, rules of conduct and privacy policy (the "agreements"). I understand and agree that any content I post is licensed to and may be used by in accordance with the agreements.

Previous Posts

Transitions at Activist Faith
After more than 1,000 posts over the past three years and now a book, Activist Faith has been a huge part of my life. More than I could have ever imagined, Activist Faith has allowed the opportunity to connect with faith-based leaders and ...

posted 1:21:15pm Sep. 03, 2013 | read full post »

The Intentional Activist
Great new post post from Relevant Hope founder and friend Jimmy Turner. Be intentional! -Dillon +++ Most towns have many organizations that help people living outside. Chattanooga, TN, for instance, has two rescue ...

posted 9:38:04am Aug. 30, 2013 | read full post »

Save the Girls!
It's an unbelievable claim: 163 millions female babies aborted by women seeking sons. This is the information shared in Mara Hvistendahl's book Unnatural Selection: Choosing Boys Over Girls and the Consequences in a World Full of Men. But ...

posted 11:22:07am Aug. 26, 2013 | read full post »

Crafts that Change the World
[Guest post by Activist Faith co-founder Daniel Darling, minister, author, and speaker, and friend, interviewing WorldCrafts president and New Hope CEO Dr. Andrea Mullins. Worldcrafts is a Christian fair-trade artisan group based in Birmingham, ...

posted 11:19:05am Aug. 25, 2013 | read full post »

The Right Kind of Activism
I once spoke with a group of college students about modern slavery and human trafficking in America. After my presentation, a friend of mine asked how it turned out. I told him, "The women were all ready to start aftercare centers for ...

posted 11:16:51am Aug. 23, 2013 | read full post »


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.