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Pope Francis asks shoppers to not buy products which may have been made by modern-day slaves, no matter the cost savings. In the outline of his speech to be delivered on January 1st, the Pope will restate his belief that consumers should stay clear of "items which may have been produced by exploiting others."
This message is not just for consumers. The Pope also warns that businesses "have a duty to be vigilant that forms of subjugation or human trafficking do not find their way into the distribution chain."
While the Pope's statement is not explicitly in support of fair trade practices, his message rings true with the principles of fair trade. These principles include creating opportunities for economically and socially marginalized producers, paying fairly and promptly, and supporting safe and empowering work conditions.
We think Pope Francis is just wonderful and appreciate his forward-thinking stance on some of the most important - and least discussed - topics of modern day life. And, as a business, we are happy to be grounded in fair trade and we are also happy to have you as a customer and participant in this process!
Pictured below are some of our Ghanaian craftswomen making baskets in their front of one of their homes. Acting as independent producers who earn a fair wage and are free to choose their working conditions, these women are just one example of the happy hands and faces supported by the practice of fair trade.