More Fair Trade coffee in Scooter's
By Mike Klein, Justice and Peace Studies
Now you have another option for "advancing the common good" in your morning mug of coffee. In addition to choosing Dunn Brothers' Fair Trade brewed coffee, you now can purchase whole bean coffee in Scooter's. Flamenco Organic imports coffee from the Café Femenino Foundation, supporting women coffee farmers in developing countries. The foundation's Web site tells the story:
“Women farmers participate in all farm activities. They prepare the terrain, nurseries, and the compost. They fertilize the soil and prepare bio-fertilizers, as well as harvesting, de-pulping, fermenting, and drying the coffee. It is very rare for women to participate in selling the coffee or making decisions on how the money from coffee sales will be used. Insufficient funds and a full spectrum of social problems have hindered attempts to intervene. But with the payment of organic and the Fair Trade premiums, efforts are underway to promote the organization of the female coffee farmers and their integration into social, political, and occupational organizations. The Café Femenino Foundation supports efforts to improve the view of women’s roles by supporting programs and projects that generate sales the women can control. The women are excited by the potential, and have received support from community leaders.”
The principles of fair trade echo the themes of Catholic social thought:
- Fair price: Democratically organized farmer groups receive a guaranteed minimum floor price and an additional premium for certified organic products. Farmer organizations are also eligible for pre-harvest credit.
- Fair labor conditions: Workers on Fair Trade farms enjoy freedom of association, safe working conditions, and living wages. Forced child labor is strictly prohibited.
- Direct trade: With Fair Trade, importers purchase from Fair Trade producer groups as directly as possible, eliminating unnecessary middlemen and empowering farmers to develop the business capacity necessary to compete in the global marketplace.
- Democratic and transparent organizations: Fair Trade farmers and farm workers decide democratically how to invest Fair Trade revenues.
- Community development: Fair Trade farmers and farm workers invest Fair Trade premiums in social and business development projects such as scholarship programs, quality improvement trainings, and organic certification.
- Environmental sustainability: Harmful agrochemicals and GMOs are strictly prohibited in favor of environmentally sustainable farming methods that protect farmers’ health and preserve valuable ecosystems for future generations.
Advance the common good by choosing Fair Trade when you buy your next cup of coffee, and shop for fair trade gifts at the Fair Trade Sale from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. next Monday and Tuesday, Dec. 4 and 5, in Campus Square, lower level, Murray-Herrick Campus Center.
Visit Scooter's for more information on Flamenco Organic Coffee and e-mail Mike Klein for information on the Fair Trade Sale.