Thursday, November 27, 2014
Text Size

Students Taste Fair Trade Coffee in Bartlett

A news article from University of Chicago's independent student newspaper, Chicago Maroon, describing a student organized Fair Trade event.

Students taste fair-trade coffee in Bartlett

By Andrew Alexander April 7, 2006 in News

Progressive politics mingled with study aids Wednesday evening as several dozen students gathered in Bartlet Lounge for free fair-trade coffee and a talk by Tadesse Meskela general manager of an Ethiopian fair-trade coffee cooperative.

The event, which also included samples of fair-trade tea, hot chocolate, and chocolate, was organized by U of C Students for Fair Trade, an informal group of undergraduates, graduate students, and faculty members.

In his talk, Meskela said that his organization, the Oromia Coffee Farmers Cooperative Union, helped its members earn 30 percent extra profit by eliminating the middlemen in coffee distribution.

Over 74,000 farmers belonging to 101 cooperatives sell their coffee through Oromia, according to Meskela, making it the largest coffee cooperative in Ethiopia.

We are a democratic, farmer-owned organization with no political interference, he said.

Oromia also trains its farmers to grow high-quality coffee, a fact evident to students who tasted it.

Much darker than the coffee I usually have, said first-year Daniel Benjamin.

Maya Barron, a fourth-year in the College and member of U of C Students for Fair Trade, said the group had been collaborating with other Chicagoland fair trade student groups. They have also been working with the Chicago Committee on Fair Trade, a branch of Oxfam, which was responsible for Meskela's visit.

The group hopes to encourage local coffee shops to sell fair-trade coffee, Barron said. Currently, only Campus Dining Services and the Divinity School coffee shop sell fair-trade coffee.

There are fewer coffee shops selling fair-trade coffee than there used to be, she said.

U of C Students for Fair Trade was organized in January by Laura Hollinger, interim associate dean of Rockefeller Chapel, and is applying to become a Registered Student Organization.

Holiday Pop Up Shop


previous month November 2014 next month
week 44 1
week 46 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
week 47 9 10 11 12 13 14 15
week 48 16 17 18 19 20 21 22
week 49 23 24 25 26 27 28 29
week 30

Upcoming Events

Happy Hour to Celebrate Fair Tuesday
Tue Dec 02, 2014 @04:00PM - 07:00PM

Fair Trade Bazaar @ 4th Pres
Sat Dec 06, 2014 @09:00AM - 02:00PM

Seeds of Change & Winter Market
Sat Dec 06, 2014 @10:00AM - 04:00PM

Fair Trade Bazaar @ 4th Pres
Sun Dec 07, 2014 @09:00AM - 02:00PM

Countryside Church UU Fair Trade Fair
Sun Dec 07, 2014 @10:00AM - 02:00PM

637 S. Dearborn 3rd fl. Chicago, IL 60605 | 312-212-1760 |