Why Fair Trade at Penn State Brandywine?

College communities in our country today are the breeding grounds for fearless ingenuity in the fields of social, political, and economic change. Penn State Brandywine is no exception. Our campus staff, faculty, and students are “committed to maximizing the resources of a research university, while maintaining the individualized student focus of a small college, with emphasis on global and local connections and diversity” (Penn State Brandywine Mission Statement, 2010).

What does this mean? It means that at Penn State Brandywine, we are committed to the communities to which we belong. We are committed to our town, Media, the first Fair Trade Town in the United States. We are committed to social good and helping to better the lives of those around us, whether it is in local schools or on a larger scale. Making global connections is an important facet of our mission statement, and by cultivating an enthusiasm for the Fair Trade movement, we are not only following through with our own mission, but we are becoming an integral part of our global society.

Fair Trade is fair, plain and simple. The movement affirms the fair and ethical treatment of foreign artisans and workers, who have often been exploited in order to provide countries with their goods. Fair Trade products are no different than non-Fair Trade products in terms of taste, quality, or price. The difference between them, however, is something crucial: Fair Trade products ensure that the workers are fairly compensated and provided with a safe working environment. This provides those living in poverty with a proper standard of living. As citizens of our local and global communities, the Fair Trade movement is something that we at Penn State Brandywine want to share with our campus. We need to raise awareness, and we have the knowledge and power to help those in need.
Source cited:
“Our Mission.” (2010). Penn State Brandywine. Retrieved from Penn State Brandywine website: http://bw.psu.edu/Information/mission.htm

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