Thursday, February 03, 2005

Just so...

Following on from what I was saing about MAKE POVERTY HISTORY, There is a large rally of people in London today listening to Nelson Mandela and petitioning the government to take Trade Justice seriously.

I realise that some people won't know what Trade Justice really means so I thought I'd include here a bit of a talk I gave on Trade Justice last year:

The trade Justice movement seeks to persuade the World Trade Organisation that it needs to make Trade fair not in terms of people having freedom to set whatever price they want because that leads to rich countries deliberately under pricing and leaving farmers in poorer countries going out of business. They want trade to fair in terms not of bread but of people.

Unfair trade does not only affect those in poor countries. Farmers in this country receive barely enough to cover the costs of what they produce as the prices are set not by the costs of production but by supermarkets who buy from them.

Trade Justice is not only about those who produce the food we eat. It is also about us. If we are to build a world like that which Jesus talks about. A world in which we love our neighbours, we must not conform to this world; to the ideas of success, gain and competition. We must think about those things that St Paul talked about in his letter to the Philippians

whatever is true,
whatever is honourable,
whatever is just,
whatever is pure,
whatever is pleasing,
whatever is commendable,

We shouldn’t support Trade Justice simply because it helps people who need it. We should support trade justice because that makes us the type of people that God wants us to be. Not to treat people with patronising charity but to deal fairly with them and so to be people of justice and honour.

The idea behind Trade Justice is not about what is produced but about the people who produce it and the people who trade and the people who consume. It is not about the food that perishes, but for the food that endures for eternal life.

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