Exploitative Labor and Our Blind Consumerism: A Conversation with Equal Exchange


By Andy Hale 

In the busyness of today, we rarely, if ever, stop and consider how we got the products we wear and consume each day. I mean, we know where we purchased these items. But, we rarely have insight into the processes in which they were cultivated, manufactured, and shipped to the store.

Some of the products you ate for breakfast this morning, the coffee you might have sipped on the way to work, and the clothes you are wearing right now potentially came to you through exploitative labor from successful corporations.

Organizations are getting smarter in our more transparent world, staying above reproach by subcontracting labor to other companies enforcing 19-hour workdays at $0.40 per day. Their hands remain clean.

Is blind consumerism a hole in our Gospel? Does God care about the people we benefit from for cheap clothes and a low grocery bill?

We sat down with two leaders within the Equal Exchange Organization to discuss the theological framework for fair trade.

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CBF’s podcast shares stories from across the Fellowship and innovative practices of those working to renew God’s world. The vision is to share ideas, stories, and innovations from ministers, authors, and practitioners.

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This podcast episode is brought to you by Fuller Seminary, The Center for Congregational Health, and Equal Exchange.

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Andy Hale created and hosts the podcast of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship. Hale is the senior pastor of University Baptist Church of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, following eight years as the founding pastor of Mosaic Church of Clayton and five years as CBF’s church start specialist. Follow on Twitter @haleandy

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