Connecting Coffee Farmers and Consumers Around the World

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I would like to thank everyone who showed up to our “Connected by Coffee” documentary event. We had plenty of yummy treats and beverages to satisfy any mouth. (And it was all Fair Trade!)

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It was truly inspiring to see the lives that were touched by this Fair Trade movement. I was shocked to hear about the devastating threats to coffee farms from coffee rust.

“Coffee rust is caused by a fungus which causes powdery orange spots on leaves. The infected leaves drop from the coffee plant too soon. The coffee rust weakens the coffee plant, reduces yield and eventually kills it.” (Source)

Not many people realize the obstacles that coffee farmers face. But it’s the dedicated Fair Traders like you who can make a difference. Amazingly enough, Fair Trade sticks by all the hardships that farmers must endure which is what makes this organization great. I hope many viewers were motivated by this documentary and continue to choose Fair Trade and support our cause.

For more information, visit the Connected by Coffee website.

Contributed by Fair Trade Student Intern, Lisa Chun

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The Dark Side of Chocolate Documentary

Fair Trade Trailblazers had the opportunity to show The Dark Side of Chocolate to our campus this month. The documentary recorded the truths of cocoa plantations and children trafficking in Ghana and Ivory Coast. It was heartbreaking to see children lost and confused as they are manipulated by human traffickers. Hopefully this documentary brought more people to realize the important of choosing Fair Trade. It was truly inspirational when they displayed this documentary in front of Nestle Headquarters.

These are some of the candy bars that were distributed at the event. Equal Exchange is Fair Trade Certified and its products contain organic ingredients.

Contributed by Lisa Chun, Student Intern

Recap of September events

I know it’s been a long time since my last post, but I hope you are all in touch with our social media platforms. Because that’s where all the daily updates are happening! Click the Twitter and Facebook icons on the top right corner of this page–if you haven’t already done so–and follow us. So far, this semester has been flying by, and our club has already completed its assigned campaign initiative through events we participated in this past month. Here is an overview of what we did and what we have accomplished.

Penn State Brandywine Club Fair – #FairChocolate Photo Contest

We were able to recruit new members and reach out to our fellow student body on our Fair Trade campaign. In doing so, we were also able to snap some pictures of them enjoying Fair Trade chocolate and participate in this year’s #FairChocolate contest. Take a look at our happy students!

Penn State Brandywine Students

Penn State Brandywine Student

(more pictures can be found on our Twitter page!)

Constitution Day/Battle of the Bands – Penn State Brandywine Civic and Community Engagement

At this event, Civic Engagement collaborated with Fair Trade Trailblazers to bring an all-American celebration for Constitution day. Students munched on Fair Trade candy bars while listening to a band of our school’s students jam out. It was an exciting event and the candy bars really brought in new interest to our table.

Fair Trade Candy Bars

Overall, Fair Trade Trailblazers is working hard to wheel in students into acknowledging our campaign. Tomorrow during Common Hour, Fair Trade Trailblazers will be hosting our first meeting at 208 Tomeszko. Please come join us in hopes of a productive semester of Fair Trade!

Contributed by Lisa Chun

Fair Trade Student Intern

Following the Footsteps of Trailblazing

Fair Trade Trailblazer Hi there! My name is Lisa Chun, and I will be the new student intern for summer and fall of 2014. I am super excited to be involved in this amazing campaign and hope to reach out to individuals who are curious about the Fair Trade movement.

For my first post, I sought out reasons why Fair Trade is genuine and truly beneficial for farmers. It was encouraging to find that “all (fair trade) labels massively improve conditions for the farmers.”  As stated by swissinfovideos in the YouTube video seen below, fair trade label farmers’ incomes increased by a whopping 30% compared to incomes of non-label farmers. You may already know that the label represents improved working conditions and provides fair wages for small-scale farmers. But if you would like to gain insight on a first-hand experience at a factory in eastern Uganda, Elen Jones has shared her perspective on Fairtrade benefits. Click here for the article: Why I’m sure Fairtrade delivers benefits to farmers by Elen Jones, Fair Trade Wales

 

 

Overall, I believe that Fair Trade is a trustworthy organization and I’m delighted to be a part of it. In my view, the benefits are for both the consumer and the producer, but Fair Trade underlines the importance of helping the producer. For the consumer, we can expect high quality goods which we know have been made using sustainable methods, thus creating a better community and environment in the long run.

Thank you for joining me on this Fair Trade journey and have a wonderful rest of the week! And a big thanks to Leshaun Warner who introduced me to Fair Trade and had me assimilated into our school’s Fair Trade campaign.

 

 

Contributed by Lisa Chun, Fair Trade Intern

Spring 2014 Trailblazers Farewell Post

After a year of interning for the Fair Trade Trailblazers, the time has come for me to pass on the torch of justice to the summer fair trade intern, Lisa Chun.

The experiences that I have had working for the Trailblazers, have taught me many lessons and provided me with much experience. Through the course of my internship, I was able to organize a variety of events on the Brandywine campus. One in particular was an Letter Writing event to congratulate the kids of the Walden school for being one of the first elementary schools to reach Fair Trade status. Many students, staff, and faculty came out to write letter of encouragement and to congratulate them on this huge accomplishment.

It has truly been an amazing experience to work along side my peers, faculty, and staff to advocate for a cause. I know as I move on to future endeavors I will carry with me the knowledge that I have gained from this internship and will continue to advocate for social justice issues.

REMEMBER

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                                                                                                                 – Gandhi

Contributed by Leshaun Warner, Fair Trade Intern

Fair Trade Schools

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Recently, Fair Trade Campaigns lunched its newest campaign – Fair Trade Schools.

“Fair Trade Schools will empower students, teachers and staff to drive demand for ethical consumption from the next generation…Fair Trade Schools will officially recognize K-12 institutions committed to educating students about Fair Trade, an economic system that ensures products were grown, harvested, crafted and traded in ways that improve lives and protect the environment. Schools may choose to host educational events, or even source Fair Trade products like coffee, tea and bananas in the cafeteria, offices and other school outlets.” – Fair Trade Campaigns

There are three schools in Media, Pa that have successfully reached Fair Trade status: The Walden School in Media declared as the first Fair Trade School in the country, Media Elementary is now the first public elementary school to achieve Fair Trade status, and Penncrest High School in Media, PA just became the first Fair Trade public high school.

 

Way to go!!! Keep up the good work and lets continue to raise awareness about Fair Trade!

 

Contributed by Leshaun Warner, Fair Trade Intern