Coffee: Economics of Consumerism

What does Fair Trade mean to the consumer?
By Brooks Mattingley

Fair trade is fine and dandy but what does it mean to us? I figure that headline is appropriate for our culture’s immediate gratification mindset. All ignorance aside (hopefully) this blog post will be dedicated to those of us who consume coffee at PLNU’s cafeteria. The practice of fair trade not only benefits us but it also benefits those that provide the food for us.

I believe that fair trade is a wonderful practice for large corporations as it gives more money to farmers while still giving us a great final product. More and more people have become savvy to the terrible situation of farmers who are not in the fair trade system. Sodexo has implemented a new program in which fair trade food and coffee is delivered to the consumer. The line of fair trade foods and coffees is called “Aspretto.” Sodexo promises that Aspretto consists of “100% natural tea and coffee sourced from local markets accredited by international recognized fair trade organizations.”(Sodexo.com). Every time a cup of Aspretto coffee or tea is sold, Sodexo donates a portion of that price to an event called STOP Hunger. STOP Hunger is an event in which Sodexo employees gather alongside NGO’s to distribute food to the poor in the surrounding areas. With 8,000 tons of Sodexo coffee bought each year the amount that goes back to the STOP Hunger event is astronomical.

In summary, Sodexo’s Aspretto plan implements fair trade practices to bring us, the consumers, great coffee while also helping the farmers who are producing this product. When we swipe our student identification cards at the cafeteria we are not only paying for great coffee and food but also our money is funding great organization.

For more information on Aspretto Fair Trade coffee visit http://www.sodexo.com/en/corporate-responsibility/sustainable-development/local-communities/fairtrade.aspx (Sodexo)

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Coffee: Economics of Consumerism

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