As I write, the country (especially Parliament!!) is divided on the ongoing issue of Brexit with no consensus of opinion seemingly in sight. The issue of trade agreements looms large in Britain’s negotiations with the EU. I think one trade issue we can all agree on regardless of political persuasion is that it is right to support Fairtrade Fortnight which begins on 25th February and runs to 10th March.
Fairtrade Fortnight is of course not the only time we can buy or should buy fairly traded goods – this is something we can and should be doing all the time. However Fairtrade Fortnight is an ideal opportunity to draw attention to the need to support small producers earn a fair price for their produce and fair reward for the labour that goes into its production.
In the book of Genesis in the story of Cain and Abel, when God asks Cain about his brother (whom Cain had murdered) he answers, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” (Genesis 4:9) To an extent we are all our “brothers and sisters’ keeper.” In as much as Christians are called to care for and help all those we possibly can – supporting fairly traded goods is of great value in living up to this calling.
Another significant date in February, depending on how romantically inclined you are, is the 14th – St Valentine’s Day. The name of Valentine is associated with love and even if we are not particularly romantic, the feast of St Valentine is a good day to remind ourselves of the words of the Apostle John which is at the heart of the Christian Gospel and should be at the fore front of our minds everyday of the year.
“God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God and God in them.” (1 John 4:16)