When “One Purchase” Really Means $85 Worth of Products

Last week I posted comments on the Trade as One video promotion that made the following claim,

“If every person who attended church in this country made just one fair trade purchase, one million families would be lifted out of poverty for one whole year”

I found this math hard to believe. The economic impact of “one purchase” really couldn’t lift that many families out of poverty, could it? 

Well, no. And, yes.

If you use my calculations, it certainly cannot.

But, according to Trade as One it is all in how you define the term one purchase. For Trade as One, the term one purchase does not means one product, but rather $85 worth of products.

Here is what Trade as One had to say about my post,

“Your math isn’t that far off ours but the crucial thing you misinterpret is that the average fair trade purchase (not product) is roughly $85 on our site. People rarely buy just one product.”

Not exactly how I would define one purchase, but now the math makes so much more sense. Yes, if every man, woman and child that attended church last weekend, all 124.4 million of them, purchased $85 worth of fair trade products the $10.5 billion in economic impact could lift 1 million families out of poverty for a one year.

 I just wonder how many people that went to the Trade as One booths and website last week after seeing that video knew that they needed to purchase $85 worth of products to keep up their end of the bargain.


About David Stupay

I live in Tanzania where I serve as the executive director for Global Family Resue. I also push the limits of telecommuting by serving as the director of finance and operations for Esperanza Community Services in Chicago while traversing the Tanzanian bush.
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