Georgia Bulletin

The Newspaper of the Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta


St. Lawrence Church, CRS Partner For Fair Trade

Published November 2, 2006

St. Lawrence Church will offer a “Work of Human Hands” international crafts fair on Saturday, Nov. 11, from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., and Sunday, Nov. 12, from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the parish’s gym. The event will feature beautiful, fairly traded handicrafts made by low-income artisans from around the world. The parish is located at 319 Grayson Highway in Lawrenceville.

In preparation for the crafts fair, St. Lawrence’s adult education program will offer two sessions on the “Fair Trade” movement presented by Simone Blanchard, program officer for Catholic Relief Services in Atlanta, on Sunday, Nov. 5, at 6:15 p.m., and again on Wednesday, Nov. 8, at 6:30 p.m., in the parish’s adult education room. Free samples of fairly traded chocolate and coffee will be available.

A partnership between Catholic Relief Services and SERVV International, “Work of Human Hands” promotes economic justice for low-income artisans overseas and advances an alternative approach to international trade through the sale of fairly traded handcrafts.

Under the conventional trading system, low-income artisans in less developed countries work long hours to produce goods for consumers in wealthy nations but often earn less than a dollar per day. The big profits go to the brokers, importers and retailers who rely on a system that pays low wages to producers and charges high prices to consumers.

“Work of Human Hands” is part of a Fair Trade movement that offers a clear and just alternative to the conventional system. Fair Trade is based on direct relationships with low-income producers overseas. It eliminates the intermediaries who exploit low-income producers and drive up the prices of goods bought by consumers. It guarantees artisans a fair price for their products, access to credit and training and the stability of long-term relationships rooted in the principles of mutual respect and economic justice. And it creates opportunities for consumers in the United States to make meaningful connections with the people overseas who produce the goods we purchase here.


For more information on the “Work of Human Hands” crafts fair, contact the parish office at (770) 963-8992. For more information about Catholic Relief Services and the Fair Trade movement, contact the Atlanta CRS office at (404) 790-3977.