Amnesty International at the University of Notre Dame is very pleased to be advocating for greater fair trade products on campus. While this may be a surprising area of concern for an Amnesty chapter, we believe greater global economic justice can do much to ensure that all citizens fully realize their human potential as well as political and civil rights.
We believe fair trade products are a way for all members of the Notre Dame community to act in solidarity with the world’s poor. This year’s Notre Dame Forum brought campus attention on the global health crisis largely caused by poverty. The university has begun to act to alleviate some of the world’s pressing needs. Our increasing commitment to and knowledge of rural Uganda and the work of the Millennium Villages Project are good first steps. We believe that much important work remains to be done. Fair trade is a way that all of us can contribute.
We are starting with a campaign asking the university to serve only fair trade coffee on campus food establishments. Coffee is the second most traded good on the planet. Notre Dame consumes over 35,000 pounds of it a year. Just by ensuring that all of that coffee is fairly compensated, we can make a difference to farmers around the planet today. By educating tomorrow’s leaders and consumers about the importance of just trade exchanges we can make a better tomorrow. Won’t you help us?
(Photo credit: Michelle Frankfurter)