Passed by the Notre Dame Student Government on October 4th, 2007
Student Senate Resolution
Committing Notre Dame Food Services to buy and serve 100 percent fair trade coffee.
WHEREAS this year’s Notre Dame Forum stressed the need for all concerned members of the Notre Dame community to take positive action to alleviate the global health and poverty crisis; and,
WHEREAS our purchasing decisions connect us economically and morally to the entire world; and,
WHEREAS coffee is the second most traded commodity on the planet, second only to oil; and,
WHEREAS the return to farmers on non-fair trade coffee is unconscionable and fair trade coffee can rectify this with minimal price increases for us; and,
WHEREAS fair trade purchases are an effective way for the university community to take positive action to economically support vulnerable workers—the world over—and thereby help them to maintain better health, both personally and for their communities; and,
WHEREAS the Notre Dame community is a moral community and, as such, is bound to moral standards in all its economic decisions; and,
WHEREAS previous decisions to have fair trade coffee on campus—while creating some benefit—are a market, rather than a moral approach to a moral issue, and this issue demands a moral solution; and,
WHEREAS a less than 100% commitment to fair trade coffee leads to unacceptable levels of fair trade coffee available on campus; and,
WHEREAS many members of the Notre Dame community are currently unaware of the importance of fair trade; and,
WHEREAS knowledge of and participation in fair trade commerce offers unparalleled opportunities to educate the entire Notre Dame community about our economic ties with the global community and our consequent responsibility as the relatively materially blessed members of that community; and,
WHEREAS fair trade offers a reliable way to enact Catholic social teaching on the dignity of all humans, special concern for the poor, solidarity in working for the common good, the determination of wages in accordance with justice and equity rather than just the laws of the marketplace, the moral good of a just distribution of wealth, and the necessity for responsible environmental stewardship; and,
WHEREAS the American Council of Catholic Bishops has recommended that all Catholics purchase fair trade products as a means to ensure just economic relations; and,
WHEREAS fair trade offers a better way of doing international trade that respects human dignity, promotes economic justice, and cultivates global solidarity; and,
WHEREAS fair trade offers fair prices, direct purchasing, long-term relationships with farmers, greater access to credit for farmers, and encourages sound environmental stewardship encouraging sustainable agricultural; and,
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Student Senate of the University of Notre Dame hereby recommend that Notre Dame Food Services should purchase and serve exclusively fair trade coffee in all its non-enfranchised operations.
THEREFORE BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED Notre Dame Food Services should have fair trade educational material available at all coffee outlets to ensure that students understand the value of purchasing fair trade products.
(Photo credit: Michelle Frankfurter)