Synod declares UCC to be a ‘fair trade denomination’

“The United Church of Christ will strive to offer fair-trade coffee and other products at official meetings and functions,” the resolution states, becoming “a moral example for other denominations and faith groups.”
In addition to denominational agencies and local congregations, the resolution calls upon “affiliated seminaries, colleges, camp and conference grounds” to also follow fair-trade practices.
“We commend each and every company” which engages in fair-trade practices, said Kent Gilbert, a delegate from the Indiana-Kentucky Conference. Following fair -trade practices strengthens the church’s mission and our work with global partners.
According to the resolution, fair-trade practices include a living wage for workers, gender equality, a suitable work environment, and purchasing directly from the grower or manufacturer — or a cooperative — so revenue and benefits go directly to the worker or the community.

The resolution acknowledges that companies which supply fairly traded items often purchase — and sell — at prices greater than the current world market price and applauds institutions, churches and others who have made it their policy to purchase items produced according to principles of fair trade.

A related measure also supported making the fast food industry the next area in which to encourage fair-trade practices. The church recently supported the successful efforts of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) in their efforts to obtain a wage increase from the growers that sell to the Taco Bell restaurant chain.

The denomination now calls upon its local congregations to apply similar pressure on on other fast-food chains to encourage them to support farm worker rights among their suppliers.
Categories: United Church of Christ News

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