The Eighth Page

Sweet and Fair: Chocolate with a Conscience

The Fairtrade chocolate being sold by the Center for Global Justice – in Commons last week, and still available via email order — is not just a way to get a sugar boost during Exam week. It supports an extremely worthwhile cause. What is Fairtrade? Fairtrade is an organization that sufficiently compensates farmers around the globe for their products. In Latin America especially, around 25 million farmers and workers who produce chocolate live in poverty, or close to it. They receive only around 60 cents per pound of chocolate. Fairtrade almost doubles the money received by farmers, paying them around $1.27 per pound of chocolate by eliminating middlemen. Fairtrade also makes sure that farmers work under humanitarian conditions, and fights against child and slave labor. It ensures that the money it raises goes to communities where it is needed most, and that it is spent democratically. Fairtrade products carry seals certifying they are made under the auspices of the organization. Andover’s Response Rebecca Agostino ’07, the head of the Center for Global Justice, organized the Fairtrade project. The Center’s main goal in selling the chocolate is to raise awareness of the chocolate’s origin. They procure the chocolate from a company called “Equal Exchange” that only sells Fairtrade products. Half of their profit will go to OXFAM and and Fairtrade, while the other half will go to AIDS relief. In addition to the chocolate, they are also selling bracelets to help humanitarian relief in Darfur, and will hold a “Fairtrade Coffee House” on December 2nd, where Fairtrade coffee and other products will be available. How Students Can Contribute Most coffee and chocolate products are not Fairtrade. The regular coffee in Commons is Fairtrade, while the flavored coffee is not. According to Agostino, you can request Fairtrade coffee at Starbucks, and it will not necessarily cost more money. Agostino also explained that by buying the chocolate, students and faculty are making a “permanent investment in charity” because the money goes directly to help Fairtrade workers. The center’s Fairtrade chocolate will be delivered during exam week. One bar is five dollars, while five bars run for 20 dollars. Through purchase of Fairtrade chocolate, students and faculty are not only giving into their sweet tooth, but are helping a credible humanitarian cause. The center is also looking for performers for the Fairtrade Coffeehouse. Students interested in ordering coffee or performing in the Coffeehouse should email