The Fair Trade Ministry encompasses Gospel and Catholic Social Doctrine principles by providing products for which the producer received fair compensation. These products are produced, bought, and sold in a system in which personal relationships are essential, and in which care for the environment is paramount.
This ministry reflects the mission of Holy Family Church by giving parishioners the opportunity to stand in solidarity with the working poor of our world – many of whom are the producers of items that we consume. It is reaching out to “those in need” of a fair wage for their goods, thereby giving them a better chance of decent housing, education, and community infrastructure.
About the Fair Trade Ministry
The Fair Trade Ministry accomplishes several goals.
- Fair Trade products are available six days a week at the Holy Family Bookstore, giving parishioners and visitors an opportunity to purchase fairly traded, affordable products.
- It welcomes Fair Trade farmers when they come through the Los Angeles area. For example, in 2006, Fair Trade rice farmers from Thailand spoke of their experience. In May 2007, two Nicaraguan coffee farmers, sponsored by Catholic Relief Services, gave a presentation about the difference the fair trade system has made in their communities.
- Holy Family’s Fair Trade Ministry is a strong supporter and member of the Los Angeles–wide movement Fair Trade LA (FTLA), a coalition of Fair Trade organizations in the Los Angeles area.
In a letter to parishioners dated October 2005, Monsignor Clement J. Connolly, accurately states the rationale for Fair Trade:
“I am writing this letter to inform you of our newly-formed Fair Trade Ministry. This ministry, started by interested parishioners and staff, aims to provide you with high-quality, premium products in which the producers are paid a livable wage. For thousands of farmers around the world, this fair wage makes the difference between living in severe poverty and enabling whole rural communities to provide food, health care, and education for its members. As a result, in keeping with the principles of our faith, this is a good opportunity to align what we believe as a church, with what we buy as consumers.”
The Fair Trade Ministry seeks to grow its sales of Fair Trade products and to “send out the good word” about Fair Trade to the entire Holy Family community. The members of our ministry are very excited about our mission and are strong believers in this “practical justice” method. We would like more people to engage with it. We welcome new ideas and marketing strategies that will help raise awareness of free trade issues and increase sales of free trade products.
Volunteer Ministry Opportunity
Purpose of Position
To assist in sales of Fair Trade Ministry products once a month and to support the ministry in general.
Participates in developing and implementing creative and effective marketing, public relations, and sales techniques for Fair Trade.
Assists in selling Fair Trade products the second Sunday of every month at Continental Breakfast.
Skills Needed (Both Positions)
- Dedication and ongoing commitment to Fair Trade
- Friendly attitude
- Ease in speaking with parishioners
- Ability to become knowledgeable and share information about Fair Trade
Amount of Time Required
Approximately three hours on the second Sunday of the month at Continental Breakfast. Shifts: 8:00 a.m.–11:00 a.m. or 10:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.
When Ministry is Performed
Second Sunday of month.
A convenient time can be arranged with Fair Trade Ministry coordinator.
What to Wear
When selling Fair Trade products, dress in a manner suitable for meeting parishioners and visitors.
Length of Commitment
The Fair Trade Ministry prefers a volunteer who can make a once-a-month commitment for six to twelve months.
One training session about the Fair Trade Ministry at a time convenient for the volunteer and coordinator.
The leadership committee meets every two months, for approximately two hours. The date and time is arranged according to the availability of the committee members.
Mary Cynar, Coordinator
Jenna Klipp, Coordinator
Renee Yeh- e-mail: email@example.com
Sweet Earth Organics