Tag Archives: fairtrade fortnight

Just how fair is your morning coffee?

Common Good card

As part of Fairtrade Fortnight, we’re getting up close and personal with people and businesses connected to UC who are making the world a better (and fairer) place. Read on to learn about the people behind UCSA’s fair trade coffee supplier, Common Good Coffee – who are bringing us much more than just good coffee!

So what makes Common Good Coffee so special?

On top of a banging roast and a 100% commitment to a fair trade supply chain, Common Good Coffee is using its profits for good in Aotearoa and around the world. From the fair trade principles behind their coffee supply, to the roasting of that same coffee right here in Christchurch, and the reinvestment of their profits into communities around the world, Common Good Coffee is a very, very good time. And the best bit is, all you have to do be a part of their story is simply drink their coffee!

The man behind your coffee addiction: Vernon roasts (and delivers) kilos of coffee each week to UC

So, about that coffee…

The coffee you’re sipping on has come a long way before the baristas at UC (and you) got their hot little hands on it. For example, the Ethiopian Sidamo coffee bean that makes up your brew has come all the way from the Oromia Coffee Farmers’ Cooperative Union of Ethiopia (OCFCU).

The Layo Teraga Cooperative in Southern Ethiopia (part of the OCFCU) currently has 1200 members and has maintained Fairtrade certification since 2009. Since becoming certified, the fair trade social premium has paid for depulping equipment, two transport trucks, and in 2010 the community was able to build an elementary school. Before this, the nearest school was a two hour walk away.

Common Good Coffee also contributed directly to the building of the elementary school – last year they donated $19,000 towards teacher’s accommodation, allowing itinerant teachers to spend less time travelling and more time teaching.

Elementary school - common goodTeacher’s accommodation in the Layo Teranga cooperative’s elementary school, Sidamo/Guji region, southern Ethiopia

But wait, there’s more!

Common Good ladies Kolkata

He aha te mea nui o te ao
He tangata, he tangata, he tangata

What is the most important thing in the world?
It is the people, it is the people, it is the people

Before, we mentioned that Common Good Coffee reinvested their profits into communities around the world. This is where the bigger picture stuff comes in: Common Good Coffee Roasters is actually part of a wider business called Common Good, based in Kolkata, India. Common Good has since created jobs for fifteen women to make products like bags and wristbands, which are proudly worn all around the world. Better still, 100% of the profits from Common Good are going directly to services like sanitation, clean water and education – meaning not only do fifteen women have dignified and meaningful work, but their families and communities are now able to make choices that weren’t available to them before.

And finally, they get local too!

Just in case you thought they were done…

Addington Coffee Co-op

Common Good Coffee is roasted at Addington Coffee Co-op, 297 Lincoln Road (definitely worth checking out, make sure you go hungry), and in 2019 they donated $100,000 to the local Addington Primary School. The Addington Te Kura Taumatua Whanua Room was funded by Common Good to grow community connections within the school, and is used by a diverse range of people from the school community.

whanau room

So, it’s more than just a cup of coffee! (but at the same time, it’s all about that cup of coffee…). And to think that every time you buy a Common Good Coffee from  Cafe 1894, Chilton’s or Collective, you’re actually directly contributing to all the above goodness…. who knew making good more common would be so easy?!

Want to know more about Common Good and what they’re doing locally and globally? Come and meet them at our Clothes Swap Party on Thursday 20 August. Sip on a free Fairtrade brew and browse some second hand threads. See the Facebook event here for all the details.

This message was brought to you by the UC Sustainability Office. Stay connected and follow us on Facebook, Instagram or sign up to our newsletter to stay in the loop about campus sustainability. This is part of our contribution to Fairtrade Fortnight, where we encourage our UC community to get involved and support the empowerment of producers overseas. For more information on the fair trade movement, see the Fairtrade NZ website.

Get involved this Fairtrade Fortnight

Welcome to Fairtrade Fortnight: two weeks of celebrating and learning all about fair trade, ethical supply chains and how we as consumers can support a more just and equal trade system for producers all around the world.

There may be actions in your daily routine that you don’t think twice about, like putting on a t-shirt or sipping a morning cup of coffee. However, if you take a closer look at these threads or ask yourself where the coffee beans are coming from, you’ll find stories (both good and bad) behind these everyday products we consume.

By purchasing products that are certified through Fairtrade or the World Fair Trade Organisation, you’re standing with millions of farmers, producers and workers around the world and empowering communities by tackling poverty, gender inequality and poor working conditions.

So what happens when I purchase something labelled as Fairtrade?

To buy a Fairtrade product means you are a part of one of the largest movements for change. Fairtrade certification can help lift a farmer or worker out of poverty, give a child an education, and grow a community or a business. Fairtrade is a tool for creating change.

How does it work?

  • The Fairtrade Minimum Price: Protects small-scale farmers against falling prices by ensuring a fixed minimum price for producers. This is particularly important for communities working in volatile industries like coffee and cocoa farming. Many sectors often force a farmer to sell below the cost of production, perpetuating a cycle of poverty and inequality.
  • The Fairtrade Premium: Is a fixed additional amount of money that provides farmers and workers with the capacity to invest in improving the quality of their businesses and communities.

Check out this video below of a coffee co-operative in Papua New Guinea, Highlands Organic Agriculture Cooperative. The money they receive from HOAC through the Fairtrade Premium is used to invest in access to clean drinking water, roofing irons, pulping machines, and most importantly: classrooms for their children.

How can I get involved?

Come and participate in UC Sustainability’s events over the next two weeks, and get behind the fair trade movement with us!

Fairtrade and the SDGs Film Night

Learn about and delve into the connection between fair trade and the UN Sustainable Development Goals at our film night next week! Plus, free pizza and Fairtrade chocolate provided. See the Facebook event here.

Clothes Swap Party

Learn about the impact that the fast fashion industry has on our people and our planet at our Clothes Swap Party! Donate your good quality clothes you no longer wear and come away with some ‘new’ second hand threads, for free. BYO cup and sip on a Fairtrade coffee as you browse. See the Facebook event for all the details and how to participate here.

This message was brought to you by the UC Sustainability Office. Stay connected and follow us on FacebookInstagram or sign up to our newsletter to stay in the loop about campus sustainability. This is part of our contribution to Fairtrade Fortnight, where we encourage our UC community to get involved and support the empowerment of producers overseas. If you’d like some more information on our Fair Trade University, see our website.