IRTF works towards justice and equity in the distribution, access to, and participation in the production and consumption of the world’s resources for the people of Central America and Colombia. The conventional trade model is accelerating a race to the bottom that hurts workers, consumers, and the environment. Moreover, it further divides us into “haves” and “have nots.” As an alternative model, fair trade sets a series of standards to ensure fair wages and human dignity for producers, community investment, environmental sustainability, and more.
IRTF’s fair trade program generates thousands of dollars in much needed income for artisans and farmers in Latin America. This happens through the generous invitations of schools, community groups, and congregations that offer us table space at 40-50 events each year. Fair trade is an important part of IRTF’s human rights mission: to call together people in NE Ohio to walk in solidarity with oppressed peoples of Central America and Colombia to achieve peace, justice, human rights and systemic transformation through nonviolence.
In addition to IRTF, St. Patrick will also be hosting Holy Land Handicraft Cooperative Society. Based in Bethlehem, Holy Land Handicrafts represents 35 owner-members of workshops of olivewood and mother-of-pearl. As a World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO) member, we sell our products to benefit approximately 2000 individuals in the Holy Land. https://www.hlhcs.org/en/
Fair trade pays a living wage and upholds the dignity of the worker, a core principle of Catholic Social Teaching. We are grateful to St. Patrick for giving their parishioners a way to put their holiday shopping dollars to good use by making fair trade purchases.
If you can help for a 2-hour shift, please call 216 961 0003 or email us at OhioFairTrade@irtfcleveland.org .