I Want Fairtrade Products at U of T St. George

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Millions of farmers and workers in the Global South work hard to provide the things we depend on to get us through each semester – the coffee in our mugs, the bananas in our breakfast, the tea at our study break, the chocolate pick-me-up.

We may think that by simply purchasing these goods, the farmers and workers who produce them will benefit. But unless those goods are sustainably sourced and traded under terms like Fairtrade, they often don’t. Global supply chains and a legacy of trade exploitation often squeeze out the most vulnerable and keep the poorest link in that chain from thriving – the farmers themselves.

When farmers aren’t paid a fair wage:

  • They can only afford to feed their families one meal a day
  • They can’t afford medical care
  • They don’t have enough money to send their children to school
  • They can’t afford to invest in better farming practices

Fairtrade exists to change this by ensuring farmers get a better and more stable income, helping transform entire communities.

But in order to be ethical consumers and support the farmers and workers who sustain our daily lives, we need to have the option to buy Fairtrade products on campus.

During this year’s Fair Trade Campus Week, I had a chance to try a variety of Fairtrade products, and I would like to continue to support these businesses.I call on University of Toronto, St. George to feed empowerment rather than exploitation by offering Fairtrade products on campus.