Help Grow Fair Trade Support

CRS is helping more and more parishes and dioceses around the country support Fair Trade, and enable farmers and producers in developing countries earn a fair wage and improve their communities. CRS recently spoke with parishioners of St. Camillus Catholic Church in Silver Spring, MD, about their efforts to incorporate Fair Trade products into all of their activities and events.

How did Fair Trade get started at St. Camillus?

It started one summer in the church parking lot alongside a local organic farmer selling fruits, vegetables and garden plants.  The Parish Council wanted to promote healthy food choices and support for fair wages and sustainable agriculture.  Volunteers from the Fair Trade Team offered free samples of Fair Trade coffee that was purchased at a local food co-op and resold at cost.

What is the model for Fair Trade?

Most Sundays at St. Camillus Catholic Church, parishioners and visitors are invited to the community room, where Fair Trade coffee, tea, hot chocolate, organic juice, donuts and bagels are served.  The Hospitality Team volunteers their labor, and a basket is provided for free-will donations, which typically cover more than the costs of the Fair Trade refreshments and go to charity.   (Check out our gift catalog here.)

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