Join Us in Promoting Fair Trade at Loyola: It’s Easy!

Posted on: November 6th, 2013

By Elizabeth Czapski

Do you know where the food you buy comes from?

Do you know who picked the coffee beans your coffee is made out of?

Do you know if the person who made your favorite sweater is being paid and treated fairly for the work they’re doing?

Having just celebrated Fair Trade Month in October, these are important questions to ask ourselves. In such a fast-paced consumerist society, where we have thousands upon thousands of products at our fingertips, we may not always think about their origins. These origins are important, though—many people, especially in developing countries, are producing products for wages that are neither sustainable nor considered a “living” wage, in unsafe, unhealthy working environments.

The goal of fair trade is to ensure that the people making the products we buy are being treated and paid fairly. This in turn helps to lift them out of poverty so that they can support themselves, their families, and their communities.

Getting involved with the fair trade movement is easier than you might think. In fact, a fair trade option is available anywhere you can buy coffee on campus! Engrained Café, located in San Francisco Hall, only serves Copper Moon Coffee, a fair trade certified brand based in Lafayette, Indiana. Apart from Engrained, Loyola is a Starbucks-only campus, and one of the Starbucks blends is fair trade as well.

Fair trade products don’t only exist in our hip little college bubble—head up to Evanston or down to Old Town to visit one of Ten Thousand Villages’ Chicagoland locations. Marketing fair trade products since 1946, Ten Thousand Villages is a company committed to helping disadvantaged workers across the globe lead better lives. Plus, it makes for a fun shopping trip!

If fair trade interests you and is something you’d like to learn more about, join LUC’s Fair Trade group. One of our goals is to add Loyola to the list of official Fair Trade Colleges and Universities by promoting fair trade practices on campus. In addition, we’ll be hosting fun, fair-trade-oriented events (expect a fair trade chocolate event in February!). Our next meeting is November 21st at 4:00 p.m. in Piper Hall’s first floor library. Email Dr. Maas Weigert at or check out our Facebook page for more information.

Other resources:
Fairtrade International
Fair Trade USA
Chicago Fair Trade

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