Fact of the Week: fair trade coffee on campus

Whether or not coffee is fair trade isn’t always found on the label.


Job Ang


Abbey Bennett, Writer

Biola serves coffee that has been ethically traded.| Job Ang/THE CHIMES

October is full of pumpkin lattes, autumn decorations, costume parties and candy. But did you know, according to Fairtradeusa.org, that it is also fair trade month?

This got me thinking: I wonder how much of Biola’s coffee is fair trade?

Commons’ coffee is Seattle’s Best, the coffee cart brews Starbucks and the drip at the Talon is Halo Brand, according to Steve Rall, Bon Appétit’s general manager.

So, since they are a Christian company, are they considered fair trade?

The label of fair trade has an incredible cost behind it and often neglects the culture of the nation. As America places the label, American rules are imposed, thus fair trade does not hold a great name in international circles, according to Rall.

Halo Brand works with farmers and missionary families in cultures where it is the norm to have whole families working together, harvesting coffee beans in the fields. Starbucks follows a similar model, as they serve “responsibly grown, ethically traded coffee,” even as not all of it is labeled fair trade, according to Starbucks.com.

In the end, remember the label is not all that proves coffee is grown, harvested and roasted with respect for the native farmers, workers and citizens.

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