“Action springs not from thought, but from a readiness for responsibility.” Dietrich Bonhoeffer
This week is One World Week, and seems suitable for a pause for thought about how we, as members of a fair trade organisation, or as readers of our website who are interested in our cause, can help make a difference and break some chains in the realm of trade. Many of the ideas come from the One World Week website and pick up the strand about trading differently.
“Living Differently” is the theme for One World Week 2014 and leads on from last year’s theme about consumption. It recognises that we as responsible citizens need to make changes to secure a fairer, more satisfying, life for us all and one that protects the planet’s resources for future generations. The subtitle “Breaking chains – making change” is inspired by Nelson Mandela’s words:
“… to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others”.
This year, OWW is drawing attention to campaigns and events which promote and involve active citizenship through sourcing food differently, reducing wastefulness, and using money differently. These simple steps can help us to break the chains of the global food supply systems and consumer habits that damage the environment and communities worldwide and challenge the current money markets by using money positively to make the changes that can build a fairer and more sustainable world.
Fair Trade fits perfectly into this equation, as it challenges the way in which global trade is currently carried out, by putting the producer before profit. It demands fairer pay, better conditions, more gender equality, transparency, long-term partnerships, and no child labour. The WFTO 10 Principles of Fair Trade to which BAFTS and its members adhere is testament to this “alternative” form of trading. So, every time you buy fair trade you are helping break the chains of poverty for producers in developing countries, and helping them to be able to afford changes in their lives.