Fairtrade Encourages Students to Wake Up and Smell the Global Coffee
The University of Notre Dame, Fremantle
The University of Notre Dame Australia’s Student Social Justice Group has joined forces with the Fremantle Campus’ ‘Healthy
Addiction’ Café in an effort to encourage students and staff help alleviate third world poverty…with just a cup of coffee.
From the 8 th to the 12 th of May the café will be selling Fairtrade coffee as part of the national Fairtrade Fortnight campaign. The coffee is one of many products that are part of the Fairtrade initiative - a system of international commerce in which producers in the developing world are paid a fair price for their produce, and first world consumers pay a little extra for the end product.
According to Social Justice Group member Anne Clifford in the regular system of commerce some producers are paid so little for their produce they can not afford to educate their children or live in decent conditions. Fairtrade ensures that all people involved in the manufacture of the product benefit from their involvement. It encourages producers to join together into small organisations to become more competitive on a global scale.
“The whole Fairtrade system is monitored by Fairtrade Labelling Organisation (FLO). If the producer is a group of farms, then FLO checks that there is a democratic structure to the organisation. If the producer is a plantation or factory, then FLO checks that people receive decent wages, can join trade unions, have certain health and safety conditions, and that no child or forced labour is used. FLO also require the producers to put a percentage of their profit back into their organisation so that it keeps growing and strengthening,” she said.
The group approached the manager of Healthy Addiction Mr Dennis Simich with a sample of the coffee to see whether he would get involved. “I was happy to sell the coffee because I think it’s just a great cause. I tasted 3 of the 4 types on offer and was very, very impressed. It’s made from a beautiful bean.
“And it’s possible we could sell it for longer. It’s really up to the people. We are prepared to go the whole way with it, we just have to gauge the students’ response. If they like it, if they love it, we’ll consider it as a second bean,” he said.
This is good news for the Social Justice group which hopes to continue spreading the word about Fairtrade products. “Globally we are all linked together through trade. It is heartening to have the option of helping others through your consumer choices,” said Anne.
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Ebbs, Michelle, "Fairtrade Encourages Students to Wake Up and Smell the Global Coffee" (2006). Media Release Archive. 583.