Trappists are monks and Trappistines are nuns who devote their lives to prayer and work, in a community life. This is done in silence. At the same time, they participate in the modern market economy. They produce and sell foodstuffs and other articles. They fulfil this role in a way that suits them best: ethical and transparent, with special attention to human dignity and the environment. Production and business practices are always done under the supervision of the Trappists. Many of them are also involved in the production.
A small part of what the monks and nuns produce in their abbeys is for their own use. Most of it is intended for sale. The Trappists and Trappistines use the proceeds to finance the needs of their religious communities. Anything extra is given to third parties. In this way, they support projects in developing countries as well as at home, or they offer help to those in need.
The International Trappist Association helps the associated abbeys shape their economic activities. They also support deeper values which characterize the Trappists. These values are expressed through socially responsible entrepreneurship, sustainable purchasing, attention to the environment.