When I was looking through the tasks for this week, I have to admit, I saw Act 5 as a bit of an easy one. ‘Buy Fairtrade‘ seemed like just a case of popping into the local newsagents on the way home from work and picking up anything with a funky little blue, green and black waving man logo printed on the side. Important of course (as David Marshall clearly explains) but a bit of a doddle, I’d already ticked it off the list.
I couldn’t have been more wrong. The first shop I went into had no Fairtrade stuff, in the second, a rather larger convenience store that I won’t name (apart from saying it rhymes with ‘strange-berries’, and sounds similar if you say it with a mouth full of them) it took me forever to locate any Fairtrade goods. Now, for all those who had given up caffeine or Chocolate for lent I can’t imagine this was an easy task, particularly if you can’t stand bananas! The reality seems to be that, in your everyday convenience store, the choice is still rather limited. In reality it is a shame that not more of the stuff we consume daily can declare itself fairtrade. In the end I did pick up some Cadbury’s chocolate buttons (‘a much better choice than banana’s’ my housemate declared, or at least I think that’s what he said, I couldn’t really tell, his mouth was full of Cadbury’s chocol…)
It does bring to question, however, how willing I am to go out of my way to pick up Fairtrade. Yeah, I like the idea, and its always a great feeling when you look at the packet and think, ‘great, it’s Fairtrade too’. But would I really be willing to regularly go to another shop just to get Fairtrade? Or to walk an extra few streets to find a Fairtrade store? Or to buy clothes from different shops that I knew were using Fairtrade cotton in their manufacturing process? As 1 John 3:18 challenges us:
‘Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.’
How willing are we to really love, day in day out, in a way that actually affects our life? We can’t just talk Fairtrade, we must walk Fairtrade. And I’m the biggest hypocrite of them all.
How did you get on? Did you manage to escape the Fairtrade trinity of chocolate/banana/coffee? Did you make a Fairtrade meal, how about a banana, coffee and chocolate cake (it exists, just look here)? Are you going to buy one of Real Easter Eggs?