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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

The Buzz on Fair Trade

Published: November 18, 2005
Section: News

– According to the FTB web site, there are now over half-million farm families in over 300 coops in 23 Latin American, Asian, and African countries producing fair trade coffee.
– A nonbinding Spring 2005 poll was held for Brandeis students regarding Fair Trade coffee. Of those that responded, nearly 80 percent of voters expressed that they would buy coffee that was 20 cents more expensive, if the coffee was bought from producers that provide farmers with a living wage and ensure safe conditions for workers in the developing world.
– Fair Trade was born in 1988, during a worldwide drop in the price of coffee, in order to provide financial relief to areas affected by the price descent.
– According to the FTB web site, typical coffee growers receive $.20 per pound from local middlemen, where Fair Trade farmers receive $1.00 per pound.
– Fair Trade coffee is directly bought from producers in developing countries for prices above market value.
– In September 2005, the faculty voted overwhelmingly to support a campus-wide switch to Fair Trade coffee. Not one economics professor voted to support the switch.
– Mark Collins, Vice President for Campus Operations, claimed in September that there could be a price increase of $0.20 or more with a switch to Fair Trade Coffee.