Mission: Fair & for Sale

The St. Cloud Mission Office is proud to be able to support our global brothers and sisters through selling their goods at a just wage and fair price, as well as to be able to sell beautiful local crafts to support the work of mission.

sanlucas2Fair Trade means that the farmer, artisan or crafts-person who grew or made the item for sale is the one getting the profit from its sale. So often numerous middle-men or large factories, plantation owners or corporations make the profit, while those who do the work and initially produced the product are left receiving a pitence for their labors. Over half of the world’s coffee is grown by small family farmers. Our fair-trade coffees and chocolates, and our direct mission connection coffees (with places like the San Lucas Mission in Guatemala), are one way of striving to pay a fairer price to the international coffee and cocoa farmers for their product. Fair-trade strives to pay 3 to 5 times more than the going market price paid by large and often unjust international coffee or chocolate companies, not to mention corporations who buy clothing and crafts for less than a just value. Fair Trade also allows people to stay on and work their own land, rather than losing their farms or working on large corporate-run plantations, and to support their families.

Although the work of the Mission Office is first-and-foremost the promotion and support of mission activity, solidarity and involvement for the St. Cloud Diocese, we also strive to live-out mission in our own daily activities. In order to do so, we believe that we must promote just wages and fair labor practices for our brothers and sisters around the world. Through  purchases of coffees and crafts like these, we can build up and support our mission connections. Our Catholic Social Teachings call us to Fair Trade, and we at the Mission Office are proud to use and sell Fair Trade items.  Learn more about Why the Catholic Church Promotes Fair Trade (PDF)

In addition to often providing a Fair Trade income for the crafts-people and enhancing a multi-cultural awareness and spirit, the sale of cultural crafts also supports our efforts here at the Mission Office.

In order to do the work of global solidarity we also need support. Through the sale of items made and donated by our mission groups, we are able to raise additional funds for the work of our office and the work of many of our missioners around the globe.

Items for Sale at the Mission Office

Many of these the items for sale at the Mission Office are Fair Trade consumables, such as:

  1. Fair Trade coffees in a number of varieties and flavors from co-ops in multiple countries; we carry regular, decaff, ground, whole bean and some flavored.
  2. Fair Trade chocolate bars and candy.
  3. Fair Trade tea.
  4. Fair Trade organic hot chocolate mixes.
  5. Fair Trade organic baking cocoa
  6. Fair Trade oils, spices, and gourmet condiments.

We also carry a variety of cultural artisan crafts, including:

  1. International Religious items
  2. Jewelry
  3. African attire
  4. International greeting cards
  5. Animal carvings
  6. Soap Stone carvings
  7. Shadow Boxes
  8. Icons
  9. Baskets
  10. Batiks
  11. Cloths
  12. Items brought directly from our partners around the world
  13. Items through SERRV, a world-wide artisan cooperative working in collaboration with Catholic Relief Services
  14. And MORE!

In addition to these great global items, we also carry crafts made right here in our diocese by our many mission groups. These locally hand-made items include:

  1. Quilts of all sizes
  2. Baby quiltsand blankets
  3. Ebroidered dishtowels
  4. Rosaries, including World Mission Rosaries

And don’t forget our resources! We also sell a small selection of mission books, some DVD’s and even a few musical CD’s.

Where our Fair Trade items come from

We order our Fair Trade coffee from two different sources. The first is through Equal Exchange, a Fair Trade cooperative that supports coffee, tea and cocoa farmers around the world. We carry a variety of their coffees, including decaffeinated and flavored. We also carry organic Fair Trade baking cocoa, hot chocolate mix, and teas through Equal Exchange, but they have a larger variety of items, including many flavors of chocolate bars and teas. If you’re interested in ordering Equal Exchange for your parish or group, view their website for a full list of what they carry and information on how to order. Or stop in the Mission Office first to give it a try.

Visit Equal Exchange’s website for more information or to order for yourself.

The second kind of coffee we carry is Juan Anna” Coffee from Guatemala. The beans are grown by farmers working as part of a cooperative through the San Lucas Toliman Mission in Guatemala (a place where many parishioners of the diocese have visited). We purchase the green (un-roasted) beans directly from our own grower in Guatemala. The beans are then shipped to Reality Roasters, a local roaster in Little Falls, who roasts the beans and bags them to be the freshest coffee we can provide. It’s a great way to support both the global and the local – all in one bag! And for the coffee lover, there’s nothing like our own blend of fresh coffee.  It’s hard to beat fresh AND fair all in one!

Another great Fair Trade item we sell are chocolate bars and candy. We purchase our Fair Trade chocolate from “Divine Chocolate,” a ministry of Catholic Relief Services and SERRV International Fair Trade. The cocoa comes mostly from farmers in Ghana. We carry dark, white and milk chocolate bars. If you’re a chocolate lover, and even if you’re not, this is as good as it gets, and as fair too!   Visit CRS’s Fair Trade products website for more details and selection.

We have gotten our Fair Trade and international crafts from a variety of sources. Many are purchased by our foreign missioners abroad from artisans they know to be reputable and in need of support for their wares. Others are purchased from organizations doing development and empowerment work in other countries.

Handcrafted secular and religious items come from indigenous artisans of Kenya, India, Bangladesch, Haiti, Mexico, Peru, Tanzania, and a variety of other countries.  Some of these items come from our partnerships with Homa Bay, Kenya and Maracay, Venezuela.

Parishes selling Fair Trade

You can buy and sell fair-trade coffees, teas, chocolates and other items at your own parish or group. Groups can order and sell Fair Trade items themselves through various Fair Trade Co-ops and organizations as a fundraiser or awareness-raiser done by your own group or parish.  Or on occasion we will provide items from our Mission Office inventory to groups with booths at various events, such as parish festivals or workshops; this is for groups not looking to raise money for themselves, but simply hoping to support and raise awareness of Fair Trade and mission. Many parishes have taken on Fair Trade sales as a one-time thing and enjoyed it so much it has become a regular occurrence and on-going part of their parish life!

Contact us if you are interested or have questions about selling Fair Trade. These are GREAT fundraiser or on-going projects for both you and those throughout the world producing these great fair-trade goods!

dishtowelsShop Hours

Everyone is welcome to come and shop our great selection of Fair Trade and locally made items anytime the Mission Office is open.  Mission Office Hours of Operation are generally 8am – 4pm, Monday through Friday. However, due to limited staff and our busy outreach schedule, the building may not always be unlocked during these times. Please call ahead to ensure that we will be available to help you or to set up a time to come shop. We apologize for any inconvenience.

The Mission Office is located at 11 – 8th Avenue South, in Downtown Saint Cloud.  We are directly north of St. Mary’s Cathedral and rectory.  Driving directions and maps are available.

Second-hand shop closed

The Mission Office once had a second-hand shop in our basement and back rooms in addition to our offices that we continue to be asked about.  Though it was a great little treasure of a spot in downtown St. Cloud, that shop did close in 2006 in order to focus staff effort and finances more on the promotion and support of mission globally. We no longer carry any used clothing or household items. We, therefore, no longer accept used donations. We were sorry to see the Mission Shop close after so many years, and we sincerely thank all of the volunteers and staff who kept it going for so long!