Black Gold

Last night I finally got round to watching Black Gold and if you drink coffee you must watch this film. I mentioned it back here where you can watch the trailer. The whole Fair Trade concept is not new but I personally struggle to conceive how any Christian worthy of the name could drink tea or coffee that is not fair trade. Hopefully someone will show them this film and change what they buy forever. There is no excuse any longer on grounds of taste, as the film adequately showed, fair trade products have access to some of the finest coffee in the world.

What was interesting though, was the clear demonstration that fair trade simply isn’t enough but that the rules on global trade need to change. Proverbs 11:1 says that ‘The LORD detests the use of dishonest scales…’ and it seems to me that global trade is currently a dishonest set of scales. While the poorest are forbidden from subsidising their farmers (a majority of their people) America and the EU give billions in subsidies to their farmers (a tiny minority of their people) and they block any chance of that changing. I think on this issue God stands in opposition to my nation, stands in opposition to the EU and the USA and others like them and says ‘I hate what you are doing, it is wrong’. As you can guess, the film stirred me up again.

I sent the film back but went straight away to buy it, I’m going to show it to my church and organise some action on it. Changing coffee doesn’t change our lives, the effect is negligible but on those that sweat to bring the coffee into the world, it makes the difference between poverty and a school for their children. Apathy and laziness are not admirable qualities in the face of such need.

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2 Thoughts to “Black Gold”

  1. Jeremy

    Yes, this film stirred me up too. There are so many passages in the Bible that relate directly to the issues here. James 5:4 is a good example: “You refused to pay the people who worked in your fields, and now their unpaid wages are shouting out against you.”
    It ought to be posted over the doors of the World trade organisation.

  2. The Fool

    Great post.

    I fully agree that all christians should support fairtrade – guaranteeing small-scale farmers a better deal.

    Having visited several fairtrade co-operatives and farms in Ghana and Chile I can promise you that the poor really do benefit from the extra that is being paid through fairtrade premiums – money that goes towards things that we in the UK take for granted: water, improved sanitation, healthcare, education provision etc.

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