Do not take advantage of a hired worker who is poor and needy, whether that worker is a fellow Israelite or a foreigner residing in one of your towns. Pay them their wages each day before sunset, because they are poor and are counting on it... Deuteronomy 24. 14-15
Today begins Fairtrade Fortnight: two weeks of campainging for principles such as fair prices for farmers, equality for women, respect for the environment which sustains us... We are also encouraged to address all forms of exploitation. We have a long way to go! What is required is nothing short of a revolution in world trade: reducing freight miles by eating locally and seasonally, justice for farmers through breaking the stranglehold of supermarkets which suppress prices to increase their profits, reducing mass production and increasing biodiversity to repair the ecosystem...
Such reforms require inter-governmental negotiation in the teeth of fierce opposition from those with vested interests in the present system or who are simply resistant to change and the inconvenience that involves. But we can all play our part by changing our own attitudes, trading habits and lifestyles. At the end of the day, customer demand is what rules. Paying closer attention to what the Bible has to say about how we are to live in creation before God and alongside our fellow creatures will conform our choices to the mutual benefit of all.