New York, NY and Madison, WI, September 12, 2012—The United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) and SERRV are formally collaborating to encourage United Methodist Churches to hold fair trade consignment sales that directly support poor artisans and farmers in 33 countries. Proceeds from church sales support impoverished people in building businesses that, in turn, promote development in their communities and empower women.
Such sales are often called Alternative Holiday (or Fair Trade) Sales. Holiday gift-giving has greater impacts, spreading the word about the benefits of fair trade and advancing development at the same time. Impacts include the building of wells, medical clinics and schools, rescue and recovery programs for victims of abuse and the sex trade, as well as job training programs.
As June H. Kim, UMCOR’s Hunger and Poverty executive, shared, “Partnering with SERRV is a natural fit for UMCOR. Both SERRV and UMCOR share the same mission for vulnerable communities—eradicate poverty, improve livelihoods, support local economies and provide fair wages.”
All churches whose vision includes global missions and local outreach can go to SERRV’s web site and request a consignment packet and host a risk-free, community-wide fair trade event this holiday season. (www.serrv.org/UMCOR or call 1.888.294.9657)
The UMCOR-SERRV collaboration will be highlighted in the upcoming 10-Fold event. 10-Fold.org has more than 37,000 advocates who “virtually” and financially support the United Methodist Church’s development and disaster response projects. Fair Trade is the focal topic the week of October 28.
SERRV’s 60-year history: A nonprofit fair trade and development organization, SERRV works with poor artisans, farmers and disadvantaged women to bring their products to markets that would otherwise be blocked by insurmountable economic obstacles. SERRV builds long-term relationships with producers and supports job training, quality assurance, and community development projects.
SERRV is also a leader in the greater fair trade community and a member of the World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO). SERRV was a founding member of the WFTO (formerly IFAT) and SERRV’s CEO is a member of the WFTO Board of Directors. SERRV upholds the 10 Principles of Fair Trade and works to assure artisans and farmers are paid by fair wage standards.
For more information, contact Serena Sato, SERRV, 122 State Street, Suite 600, Madison, WI, 53703 (Ph. 888.243.4423) Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or Judith Santiago, UMCOR, 475 Riverside Drive, Room 1520, New York, NY, 10115 (Ph. 212.870.3951) Email: email@example.com.
10 Principles of Fair Trade upheld by SERRV
SERRV adheres to the WFTO 10 Principles of Fair Trade. These principles are upheld to ensure each artisan and farmer we work with gets a fair wage, safe working conditions, good training, and more.
Creating Opportunities for Economically Disadvantaged Producers
- Transparency and Accountability
- Fair Trading Practices
- Payment of a Fair Price
- Ensuring no Child Labor and Forced Labor
- Commitment to Non Discrimination, Gender Equity and Freedom of Association
- Ensuring Good Working Conditions
- Providing Capacity Building
- Promoting Fair Trade
- Respect for the Environment
SERRV is also affiliated with Green America and the Fair Trade Federation.