The great Sheik Abd-al-Kadir once said “No one can understand the truth until he drinks of coffee’s frothy goodness.” I doubt the average student is thinking as deep thoughts as good ol’ Kadir when they are savoring the first sip of that morning coffee while barely conscious or downing that fourth cup at 2 a.m. hoping it will act as an aid to pull an all-nighter. But do you ever really think about where that delicious, hot, brown liquid came from? Do you think about the farmers who actually planted that coffee bean in the hopefully plentiful soil? Did you know that Ethiopia, which is the birthplace of coffee, has 15 million family households dependent on coffee for their livelihoods?

I am guessing if you are anything like me, you have not been thinking about this when you stop by Hillside for your local buzz. Someone who has been thinking about this, for many months now, is senior and president of the UR Fair Trade Campaign Sam Boyer. UR is just one of the many campuses that is joining the fight to promote the purchase of coffee so that farmers in economically-struggling countries will get more of the profit when you drink a cup of coffee made with their beans.

The Fair Trade movement was inspired by 25 million impoverished coffee farmers in 50 countries, while three major American coffee buyer companies – Kraft, Proctor & Gamble and Sara Lee – were reaping the immense benefits of their coffee sales.

Fair Trade is truly a brilliant system because by giving the farmer more money he or she can invest more in their farms and will therefore be selling a better product to the consumer. “Fair Trade is not a charity,” Boyer said. “It is basically the difference between giving a man a fish and teaching a man to fish.”

Boyer was inspired to start the campaign after his profound experiences working with the Oxfam program – a group of non-governmental organizations from three continents that works to fight poverty and global injustice. He began campaigning in the fall of 2004 with a few table events and a very successful panel conversation. However, when Boyer went away second semester, the campaign temperarily went on hiatus. Upon his return, it was put back into full swing.

Due to a very supportive partnership with ARAMARK – UR’s dining service – the possibility of Fair Trade being sold all over our campus seems quite plausible in the near future. Boyer attributes this partnership being successful due to the full support of director of Campus Dining Services, Cam Schauf.

Fair Trade Coffee is already being sold in Hillside, the Common Ground Caf and starting next week you can a watch a constantly looping Fair Trade informative video in the the Common Ground. There will also be many informative posters, brochures, petitions and staff who can answer any questions students may have. Boyer has grand plans for this campaign to educate the entire campus using teach-ins, T-shirts, a hunger banquet and possibly a Fair Trade coffee taste fair. “I really want to see this [campaign] go all the way.” In other words, having fair trade coffee in every dining hall and food cart on campus. The Fair Trade campaign is coming up with a Student Center Senate Resolution and is a joint committee of Students for Social Justice and Grass Roots.

“I really don’t want this to be an in-your-face obnoxious campaign,” Boyer said. “I hope it will blend in with the background of campus

If students participate in this campaign they will be truly understanding the concept of globalization in it’s purest form. “I just think students should be given the chance to vote with their voice or their dollar,” he said. And thank you, Sam Boyer, for giving us a choice and letting us even know we had one.

In the past few years though, major companies, most notably Starbucks, Dunkin’ Donuts and Newman’s Own have decided that Fair Trade products are simply better. Fair Trade is truly a brilliant system because by giving the farmer more money, he or she can invest more in their farms and will therefore be selling a better product to the consumer.

“Fair Trade is not a charity,” Boyer said. “It is basically the difference between giving a man a fish and teaching a man to fish.”

Boyer was inspired to start the campaign after his profound experiences working with the Oxfam program – a group of non-governmental organizations from three continents that works to fight poverty and global injustice. He began campaigning in the fall of 2004 with a few table events and a very successful panel conversation. However, when Boyer went away second semester, the campaign temperarily went on hiatus. Upon his return, it was put back into full swing.

Due to a very supportive partnership with ARAMARK – UR’s dining service – the possibility of Fair Trade being sold all over our campus seems quite plausible in the near future. Boyer attributes this partnership being successful due to the full support of director of Campus Dining Services Cam Schauf.

Fair Trade Coffee is being sold at Hillside Caf, the Common Ground Caf and starting next week you can watch a looping Fair Trade informative video in the Common Ground. There will also be many informative posters, brochures, petitions and staff who can answer any questions students may have. Boyer has grand plans for this campaign to educate the entire campus using teach-ins, a hunger banquet and a Fair Trade coffee taste fair.

“I really want to see this [campaign] go all the way.”

In other words, having fair trade coffee in every dining hall and food cart on campus. The Fair Trade campaign is coming up with a Student Center Senate Resolution and is a joint committee of Students for Social Justice. Boyer also hopes that in a few years other Fair Trade foods will be carried at UR.

Though Boyer hopes the campaign will be successful, he stresses that he does not want the advertising to be shoved down the student body’s throats.

If students participate in this campaign they will be truly understanding the concept of globalization in it’s purest form. “I just think students should be given the chance to vote with their voice or their dollar,” he said. And thank you, Sam Boyer, for giving us a choice and letting us even know we had one.

Lepore can be reached at mlepore@campustimes.org.



So, you want to be a doctor?

It’s not an easy path you’ve chosen, and you know that too. But one thing is for sure — there’s infinite possibilities to get from point A to point B.

The mysterious case of the disappearing hobbies

If nothing we do reflects our interests beyond career aspirations, then a whole chunk of who you are is left behind.

Rochester Vintage Shop owner deciphers current fashion trends

If you are looking for a place to shop for your fall clothing, here’s an option for you: The Op Shop, a collective of vintage clothing and accessories next to the Eastman School of Music, home to more than 30 vendors and supplying all kinds of fashion styles.