Fair Trade: The Catholic Market

Fair Trade is a easy way to give gifts to loved ones and help working poor families around the world. If you’re looking for gifts you won’t find on department store shelves, check out the CRS Fair Trade web site and blog.

As Americans, we collectively spend $19 billion a year to feed our coffee habit. (That is, incidentally, nearly twice the Gross Domestic Product of Nicaragua.)

If there are 250-300 million people in the United States and about 60 million Catholics, then we Catholics are just over one-fifth of the national population. And if the national coffee expenditure is about $20 billion, and if Catholics drink about as much coffee as everyone else, then Catholics in the United States spend about $5 billion each year on coffee.

Clearly, this is not a scientific figure. But it is probably safe to say that each year Catholics in the United States spend billions on coffee. And that’s just coffee—the chocolate industry brings in $14 billion a year in the US alone meaning Catholics spend about $3 billion on chocolate.

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