Can fair trade goods get a fair shake as U.S. resigns pact?

May 12, 2012
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Small-scale farmers at risk; weak consumer demand still a key limitation

DAINA LAWRENCE

It's a safe assumption that no one in the coffee line-up at Vancouver's Simon Fraser University (SFU) has ever met a Peruvian coffee farmer. But earlier this month the worlds of these students and small-scale coffee producers just got a little bit closer.

SFU became Canada's second university to earn fair trade designation, meaning food service providers on campus, like Chartwells, sell and visibly promote fair trade coffee, teas and chocolate.

For Mark McLaughlin, executive director of SFU's ancillary services, it's not just about coffee with a conscience. It's about adopting policies that promote sustainability and ethical choices throughout the university administration.

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