Catholic Social Teaching & Fair Trade
The Fair Trade concept is deeply rooted in the Catholic faith. Fair Trade is an approach to business and trade that is based on a commitment to cherish and uphold the sacredness and dignity of every person.
Fair Trade is based on cooperation and mutual benefit, and is in many ways consistent with the Catholic vision for economic activities that promote the common good.
Pope John Paul II wrote in his encyclical Centesimus Annus that a business should act not as a "society of capital goods" directed solely toward the attainment of financial goals, but rather as a "society of persons" that serves the common good of everyone.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church states "[The common good is] the sum total of social conditions which allow people, either as groups or as individuals, to reach their fulfillment more fully and more easily." Section 1906
By purchasing Fair Trade products, we are putting the values of Catholic Social Teachings into action. Our purchases respect human dignity, promote economic justice and cultivate global solidarity.
"Let each one examine his conscience,....Is he prepared to support out of his own pocket works and undertakings in favor of the most destitute? .... Is he ready to pay a higher price for imported goods so that the producer may be more justly rewarded?" Pope Paul VI
"Never has the human race enjoyed such an abundance of wealth, resources and economic power, and yet a huge proportion of the world's citizens are still tormented by hunger and poverty, while countless numbers suffer from total illiteracy." Pope Paul VI
"Poverty is a plague against which humanity must fight without cease." Pope Benedict XVI
"Globalization, like any other system, must be at the service of the human person; it must serve solidarity and the common good." Pope John Paul II
US Council of Catholic Bishops
"A just trading system- in addition to breaking down barriers to promote growth - should enhance the life and dignity of everyone, lessen economic injustice, and help eradicate poverty" U.S. Catholic Bishops
"The economy must serve people, not the other way around. Work is more than a way to make a living; it is a form of continuing participation in God's act of creation". U.S. Catholic Bishops
"Competition, to be sure, is not to be excluded from commerce, but it must be kept within those limits which make it just and fair and therefore worthy of man." U.S. Catholic Bishops
St. Gregory the Great
"When we attend to the needs of those in want, we give them what is theirs, not ours. More than performing works of mercy, we are paying a debt of justice."
"The object of gain is that by its means man may provide for himself and others according to their state. The object of providing for himself and others is that they may be able to live virtuously. The object of virtuous life is the attainment of everlasting glory"