How Fair Trade Can Improve Lives
When we buy our regular food items in the grocery stores such as coffee or fresh produce, all we see are the vibrant colours and sweet scents. We seldom think about where it came from or who the people are behind the products on the shelves.
The month of May is recognized as Fair Trade month. It seeks to raise awareness and to challenge people to think critically about their purchases. In addition, it also celebrates the incredible work and positive changes brought to communities because of Fair Trade practices.
As a Fair Trade campus, SFU is participating to further showcase how choosing Fair Trade can significantly improve lives in small communities abroad.
What is Fair Trade?
Fair Trade aims to give workers and farmers in developing countries equitable prices and decent working conditions for their products. It is a more ethical and sustainable approach to trade and goes against conventional practices that leaves labourers underpaid. Instead, it improves and empowers the lives of marginalized people.
How does Fair Trade Improve Lives?
Fair Trade priced products cover production and labour costs while an additional premium price goes towards business and community development. This premium is commonly used to invest in healthcare, education or other facilities that the producers require. The workers themselves have the ability to choose their investments and thus can lift their communities based on their needs.
What has SFU done to be a Fair Trade campus?
SFU started to incorporate Fair Trade products in 2013 when it became the first university in Canada to partner with Starbucks to serve Fair Trade espresso beverages and brewed coffee. Since then, the university has continually raised the bar and renewed its commitment to Fair Trade by serving certified products in different locations on campus. Below is a list of all current stores and location that serve Fair Trade products on the Burnaby campus.
Fair Trade options at SFU
If you’re not around Burnaby campus, no problem! Here’s an additional list of options across the Lower Mainland.
Fair Trade options and brands in the Lower Mainland
|New World, Everland||Cocoa/Hot Chocolate||Burnaby|
|Swiss Water Decaffeinated Coffee Co. Inc.||Coffee||Burnaby|
|Take a Coffee Break||Coffee||Coquitlam|
|Mountain Coffee Ltd.||Coffee||Delta|
|La Finca||Coffee||North Vancouver|
|Moja Coffee||Coffee||North Vancouver|
|Ross Chocolates||Chocolate||Port Coquitlam|
|Spirit Bear Coffee||Coffee||Port Coquitlam|
|Canterbury Coffee Corporation||Coffee||Richmond|
|Garden to Cup Organics||Tea||Richmond|
|Salt Spring Coffee Co.||Coffee||Richmond|
|Divine Specialty Teas Company Ltd||Tea||Surrey|
|Casa del Caffé||Coffee||Vancouver|
|Discovery Organics||Bananas, Produce||Vancouver|
|Earth’s Choice||Chocolate, Coffee||Vancouver|
|Milano Coffee Ltd.||Coffee||Vancouver|
|M68 Mercantile Inc. DBA Caffe Umbria Canada||Coffee||Vancouver|
|JJ Bean Coffee Roasters||Coffee||Vancouver|
|Organic Products Trading Company||Coffee||Vancouver|
|Westcoast Coffee Trader||Coffee||Vancouver|
|VOLO Athletics||Sports Balls||Vancouver|
How Does This Relate to Zero Waste?
The practice of zero waste aims to minimize our environmental impact on the planet and challenges us to lead more sustainable lives. It calls us to examine and to think about our impact from the production to consumption of our resources. Fair Trade offers us the opportunity to connect with producers and to help them achieve their own sustainable growth and development.
So next time you purchase your coffee, tea or other Fair Trade products, know that your simple decision is another positive step towards social and economic equity.