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Fair Trade: buy good and do good

By Eddie Long, Genesis Hub

In 2013, I went with a group of friends to a gathering of thousands of college students from around the nation called the Passion Conference. Each night left us intoxicated on worship and preaching about a Jesus that lifted the poor and set captives free. Then, right in the middle of all that inspiration was a big…red...❌

The ❌ stood for The End It Movement, which was all about modern-day slavery. They told us 27 million people in the world were trapped in forced labor or some form of sex trafficking. I remember the number clearly but remember the stories of people who’d been rescued from unimaginable horrors even more clearly.

The numbers had names.

This was real. This was now.

We were devastated. We stood in solidarity. We painted ❌’s on our hands and went home blasting social media with facts. But I couldn’t shake the feeling that it wasn’t enough. The movement created a website that lets you answer questions about your shopping habits and calculates how many slaves you own.

I owned slaves.

Turns out we all do. Sure, it’s not that we ourselves use whips and chains on people. But many products that we consume daily source their ingredients or their labor from places that do! Chocolate, sugar, and coffee are just a few items that frequently contain some form of slavery or highly exploited labor. Many countries don’t have labor laws or justice systems to prevent this.

At first, I felt helpless. After extensive research, I found a few companies with “internal policies” and a few sites to write letters to companies and politicians voicing my concern.

I prayed.

Then I found Fair Trade, a nonprofit organization that certifies and audits suppliers. Fair Trade has ZERO TOLERANCE for forced labor or child labor, ensures farmers and artisans are paid fair wages, reinvests in farmer communities, and protects the environment! Poverty is the primary cause of modern-day slavery, and Fair Trade is a way to holistically combat poverty by giving a hand-up instead of a handout.

Over the last 9 years, Fair Trade has played an increasingly prominent role in our lives, eventually leading us to open a business centered around it. It’s been a journey that’s led to an entirely new way of seeing how our consumption impacts the world. That’s what I hope to share with you in my upcoming articles! For more information about fair trade head to


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