Go back to normal view
There is a place up in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado where a small trickle of water separates into two streams. For those drops of water a small drift to the left or the right can have an immensely different outcome. Water to the left flows west into the Colorado River, the Gulf of California and the Pacific Ocean. Water to the right flows east to the Mississippi River the Gulf of Mexico and then the Atlantic Ocean. One small turning point, two very different destinations. The choices we make can be like that. They may not seem great at the time, but they can change the course of our life.
Life is all about choices. As children, we choose our friends, our interests, whether to work hard, or not. Later we choose, where we live, our career path, how we look after our health, our attitude to obstacles and difficulties, our response to causes and issues. As Christians, we choose to follow Christ, and then to keep following Him in the choices of day to day life.
Sometimes our ability to choose is limited by life’s circumstances. That’s especially true for people living in the developing world where poverty, climate conditions, natural disasters, corruption and trading injustice prevent freedom of choice.
Crucially, the choices we make in the UK often have a direct impact on the scope for choice available to our brothers and sisters in the developing world. In recent years, our own culture and attitudes to the poor and vulnerable have been changing beyond recognition.
It is crunch time. It’s time to choose. Are we on the side of ‘anything for a bargain’ and ‘who cares where my food comes from’ or are we on the side of Christ who identified with the poor and lived and died sacrificially for others?
The Fair Trade vision is of a world in which justice and sustainable development are at the heart of trade structures and practices so that everyone, through their work, can maintain a decent and dignified livelihood and develop their full potential.
To achieve this vision, Fairtrade seeks to transform trading structures and practices in favour of the poor and disadvantaged. By facilitating trading partnerships based on equity and transparency, Fairtrade contributes to sustainable development for marginalised producers, workers and their communities. Through demonstration of alternatives to conventional trade and other forms of advocacy, the Fairtrade movement empowers citizens to campaign for an international trade system based on justice and fairness.
Balfron Church gained Fairtrade status in 2007 as we are committed to using Fairtrade products in the church. On Sundays the after service teas & coffees are Fairtrade as is the case at the Lunch club. As a church we campaign on behalf of poorer nations to try to redress the balance of unfair trade rule and injustice in the world. The church took a leading role in helping Balfron village also to gain Fairtrade status and many of the shops, organisations and school continue to be very supportive of this worthy cause. We would encourage everyone to think responsibly when purchasing their weekly shopping to enable producers to get a fair price for their produce.