Rockford Register Star (newspaper)

Linda Roy March 22, 2014

Article on front page about Fair Trade & 2nd./1st. (October 24th, 2014)

Fair Trade Congregation: Rockford church one of seven certified in United States

Dave Smith and Linda Roy talk over a table of fair trade goods for sale Sunday, Oct. 19, 2014, at Second Congregational UCC/First Presbyterian Church of Rockford.Micky Swart and Jim Burright shop for fair trade goods Sunday, Oct. 19, 2014, at Second Congregational UCC/First Presbyterian Church of Rockford.

• Area church to celebrate Fair Trade Month

• Just Goods to celebrate 3rd anniversary

By Brian Leaf
Rockford Register Star
Posted Oct. 23, 2014 @ 8:00 am
Updated Oct 23, 2014 at 4:46 PM

ROCKFORD — The olive oil is from Palestine, the coffee from the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the minister’s stole from Guatemala.

That’s a reason Second Congregational UCC/First Presbyterian Church has been recognized nationally for its efforts to support farmers and artists in developing countries.

The church is among the first seven certified nationally as Fair Trade Congregations by Fair Trade Campaigns, a group that promotes fair trade to towns, churches, universities and schools.

“To be able to formally recognize the incredible commitments that they have made to international justice and to launch a program with the potential to bring so many more into this work is extremely exciting,” said Billy Linstead Goldsmith, national coordinator of Fair Trade Campaigns.

Fair trade is a grass-roots, economic development movement to support workers, farmers, artists and entrepreneurs in developing countries. Fair trade proponents say paying a fair price for products from these nations helps create sustainable businesses supported by conscientious buyers who want merchandise that improves communities and lives while protecting the environment.

“This is a wonderful way to support a great mission,” said Linda Roy, who sells about $100 in products a week to members of the downtown church after Sunday services. “We know the farmers don’t want charity. They just want people to treat them fairly and give them a fair wage for their agricultural goods or artisan products.”

Roy, 65, has been involved with the fair trade movement for 11 years. She started at First Presbyterian and helped bring the fair trade culture to Second Congregational when the two churches combined in 2012.

Churches certified as Fair Trade Congregations have ministers who preach about fair trade, replace merchandise used by the church with fair trade products whenever possible and incorporate fair trade products to existing events.

At Second Congregational UCC/First Presbyterian that was easy.

“When the criteria came out, it was stuff we’d already done,” Roy said.

In the U.S., churches have long been the foundation for fair trade, said Winnifred Chin, a manager at JustGoods, a fair trade store at 201 Seventh St.

But the movement needs new blood, she said. Fair trade pioneers are getting old.

“They’re the ones who started it way back in the ’70s and ’80s,” she said. “With younger people moving into the job market, they need to be aware of the ethics of doing business. Fair trade is definitely a part of that.”


Second Congregational UCC/First Presbyterian to hold rose fundraiser

Posted Jan. 6, 2015 @ 2:00 pm

ROCKFORD — Second Congregational UCC/First Presbyterian Church of Rockford, 318 N. Church St., will sell fair-trade roses this year as a church fundraiser.

Orders will be taken through Jan. 30 and ready for pickup Feb. 14. Roses are $45 per dozen, and will also come with a fair-trade chocolate bar.

For information and to place an order: 815-963-8431;

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Campaign TypeCongregations
Fulfillment TypeFair Trade Events, Media Coverage
Resource TypeGetting Started, Templates & Media Resources