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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Fair Trade for Fair Prices

October is Fair Trade Month and here at UMass Boston we have Fair Trade Certified coffee served all across campus. In a concerted effort to try and help the rest of the planet, Sodexho has made available a variety of Fair Trade Certified choices. There is something for everyone, and with each cup, we are all making a little bit of a difference.

What is Fair Trade Certified, you ask?

Fair Trade Certified is a relatively new organization that works in conjunction with Global Exchange with a goal of offering better products at more reasonable prices to consumers, while making sure the provider- ideally local farmers- receives adequate payment and rights by ultimately cutting out the middle-man. While American’s drink one-fifth of the world’s entire supply of coffee, not many realize that coffee plantations are similar to the cotton plantations that covered the southern America one hundred and fifty years ago.

Countless farmers are forced to accept less for their coffee than their production costs, which results in constant poverty and debt. Fair Trade is hoping to offer solutions for this predicament by guaranteeing that the coffee we drink was bought under just circumstances.

For an importer to become Fair Trade certified, they must meet strict international standards. It is required that they pay a minimum of $1.26 per pound and give essential credit to the farmers who supply the products. Fair Trade also wants to aid organic farmers with technical assistance, hoping to eventually create a mainly organic market.

Fair Trade Coffee expresses their ambitions on globalexchange.org. “We believe in a total transformation of the coffee industry, so that all coffee sold in this country should be Fair Trade Certified, or if produced on a plantation, that workers’ rights should be guaranteed and independently monitored.”

This month as you grab a cup of coffee here on campus remember that you are helping someone out with every sip. So, drink up and enjoy.