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Fairtrade: Food for Thought

We’ve just come to the end of Fairtrade Fortnight, where the focus has been on standing up for farmers. The main project was SIT DOWN FOR BREAKFAST: STAND UP FOR FARMERS. Locally this was embraced by many schools and I was privileged to be involved with Vale of Leven Academy, Bonhill and St. Michael’s Primary schools.

The words of Martin Luther King really made an impact on me and on the pupils:

“Before you finish eating breakfast in the morning, you’ve depended on more than half the world….We aren’t going to have peace on earth until we recognise this basic fact of the interrelated structure of all reality.”

So where did your breakfast come from today? Tea from India or Kenya? Coffee from Rwanda or Honduras? Sugar from Malawi or Fiji? What work from farmers would have gone into producing these products? Is it fair that those who produce our food don’t earn enough to feed themselves or their families? Archbishop Oscar Romero said:

“It is not God’s will for some to have everything and others to have nothing.”

Around 795 million people are undernourished, and it is estimated that half the world’s hungry live on small farms, some of which grow crops to export.

Food security can’t be taken for granted in many parts of the world, including for many who grow the things we consume every day, such as tea & coffee. Many families consider that they have no guarantee of food security for up to 4 months per year. This means families subsist on a basic diet of maize and beans, or parents skip meals and children can’t concentrate at school because they’re hungry.

As a Christian, I’m compelled to follow Jesus’ example in caring for the vulnerable and being actively involved in challenging the injustices which they endure. In the 40 days after His resurrection, Jesus sent His disciples to the Sea of Galilee telling them to wait for Him there. Jesus invited the disciples to share their amazing catch of fish on the beach, and add it to the breakfast meal He had prepared. Jesus created a community of people around Him, and eating together regularly was an important part of that community’s life. The early church continued to share their possessions and eat together, remembering the life of Jesus among them. If we are to follow His example, then we must ensure that the world’s resources are shared more fairly, provide for those in need and do all we can to bring justice for all.

A Prayer for Fair Trade

God of love and justice, we give thanks for the gifts planted in all of us.

We remember the power we embody when we share these gifts; compassion, understanding, fire and vigour.

We honour your Word living within us, inspiring people to protest at greed, to work for justice, to passionately share their resources and cherish all life.

Yours is the outspoken love. Yours is the outrageous hope. Yours is the extravagant mercy

So to You be the honour and the power and the glory.


This blog post was brought to you by....Levette Callander

Levette is a "retired" teacher, who has revelled in teaching children and young people with additional support needs. She has been blessed by their capabilities and love for life. This appreciation of life has translated to people in the Middle East, primarily through the ministries of Embrace the Middle East and Nazareth Hospital. Her passions are her family, justice issues, and what the Bible has to say about caring for those in need.

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