Fair trade day a success

By Jana Fagotti
April 29, 2004

Shawn Rice

With over 300 participants, Fair Trade Day, held Thursday, April 22, was a complete success according to its faculty organizers. Fifty-nine percent of those who filled out a survey got all of the answers correct. “We feel that it was a success in introducing the topic of fair trade to a large number of students, but was more of a starting point in the education process,” Dr. Mary Harris, a finance professor, said. The idea of Fair Trade Day began at a faculty development workshop in January 2004 as a pilot project for faculty to choose a social justice issue that faculty could concentrate on with certain classes. Harris said she hopes that the success of Fair Trade Day will spur more rapid community involvement in the issue.

Now that the campus has gained knowledge about what fair trade coffee is, a local survey of fair trade carriers in the area show where to buy it.

Fair trade coffee guarantees that farmers receive a fair price for their product. For $1.26 per pound, fair trade coffee ensures quality by cutting out the cost-cutting practices that sacrifice the quality of the product. Stores such as Genuardi’s, Starbucks, Trader Joes and Bucks County Coffee carry fair trade coffees in the St. David’s/ Wayne area.

Trader Joe’s, Wayne, carries three brands of Fair Trade coffee. Shawn Rink, captain at Trader Joe’s said that people are knowledgeable about Fair Trade. “People buy coffee for two political reasons: One, it is shade-grown, which means no trees are cut down to farm the coffee beans, and because it is fair trade,” Rink said. All fair trade coffee is shade-grown, ecologically aware and fair to farmers.

Coffee master at Starbucks in Wayne, Andrew Totsch, said that they sell a decent amount of fair trade coffee. You can buy fair trade coffee fresh or by the bag at Starbucks. Among the varieties, Starbucks carries Mexican-grown organic shade-grown coffee. “Almost all of our coffees meet the requirements,” Totsch said. Because fair trade coffee is more mild than other coffees, Totsch said that fair trade coffee is more popular in the summer.

St. David’s Genuardi’s is also a seller of fair trade brands. Genuardi’s carries four varieties of fair trade coffee. Three varieties of “Bucks County coffee” are sold: decaffeinated, Sumatra and House Blend. “Seattle’s Best” French roast is the fourth variety carried by Genuardi’s. Located inside the food court of Genuardi’s is a “Bucks County coffee” station where fresh cups of fair trade coffee are sold.

The winners of the $25 King of Prussia Mall gift certificates are: Mike Bittner, Marquita Smith, Mike Lemieux and Lauren Golato. The winner of the Apple iPod is Christopher Loringer.

Posted to the web by Shawn Rice

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Jana Fagotti

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