By KATHY MONTAG, Special to the Bulletin | Published November 4, 2016
SMYRNA—Pottery made in Cameroon, colorful baskets from Bangladesh, Peruvian Nativity sets … the annual archdiocesan Fair Trade sale at the Chancery will feature these and other handcrafted goods and jewelry, as well as shade-grown organic coffees and chocolates, olive oil from the Holy Land and jams from Africa.
The sale, through the initiative of Catholic Relief Services, will be held Tuesday, Nov. 15, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Chancery, 2401 Lake Park Drive, SE, in Smyrna.
While the items available make beautiful gifts, the sale at a deeper level helps artisans around the world to make a living wage and meet basic needs.
“When people purchase ‘fair trade,’ they are purchasing intentionally,” said Kat Doyle, director of archdiocesan Justice and Peace Ministries.
The Catholic Relief Services designation of fair trade means “all of the people along the supply train CRS’ Fair Trade program work around the world to provide technical and financial assistance to farmers and artisans, even assisting them in joining with other local people to package and ship products and market their goods,” said Doyle. CRS focuses on giving residents of communities the capacity to develop businesses, crafts and agriculture that are self-sustaining.
Part of the assistance, she added, is helping coffee growers or artisans to build long-term and local trade relationships.
“It builds community,” said Doyle.
In this season of giving and sharing, it makes all the sense in the world to think about both the person who will receive the gifts and the person who made the gift. It’s not that hard. As Catholics, we can bring smiles to the people we care about and promote economic justice for the people who produce the gift items when we buy Fair Trade.
Come visit the sale at the Chancery and prayerfully consider hosting an event at your own parish. “Parishes can set an example,” added Doyle about raising awareness of fair trade. For more information, contact Kathy Montag at email@example.com or 404-920-7368.