Fair-trade coffee, which is available at Jazzman’s Cafe, will soon be offered in the Starbucks locations on campus.Seth Harris, a sophomore sociology major, is one of the co-coordinators of Frogs for Fair Trade, the student activist group that brought fair-trade coffee to TCU.
Harris said fair-trade products, such as coffee, tea and fruit, ensure a fair price for the farmers and workers who produce them and help to support the small-scale farms that would not be able to survive on normal market prices.
Harris said smaller farms that do not produce under the fair-trade conditions have a greater chance of turning to drug crops for financial support.
“The farmers can’t support their families, and their children end up having to quit school and work on the farms,” Harris said.
Ericka Strickland, a freshman religion major and a co-coordinator of Frogs for Fair Trade, said fair trade is helping to give a voice to the farmers that would not normally have one.
“It’s helping to eliminate poverty by giving them the price they deserve,” Strickland said.
Last fall Frogs for Fair Trade campaigned to bring fair-trade coffee to campus. In the same semester it also became available in Jazzman’s Cafe in the Tucker Technology Center.
Frogs for Fair Trade, along with TCU Dining Services and the Student Government Association, are set to begin a media campaign in the next week to educate the campus about fair-trade coffee.
The campaign will promote the implementation of fair-trade coffee in the Starbucks locations in Frog Bytes and the library.
Harris said the product should be available within the next two weeks.
Legia Abato, a Dining Services representative, has been working closely with Frogs for Fair Trade to bring the coffee to campus.
Abato said the Starbucks locations will offer the new fair-trade coffee but will continue to offer their old blends.
“We’re hoping it takes off,” Abato said. “We just want to educate the student body as much as possible.”
Abato said Jazzman’s Cafe made the switch from Seattle’s Best brand to a Rain Forest Alliance brand last semester because it wanted to offer a line that would be more environmentally friendly.
Frogs for Fair Trade is continuously working on spreading awareness about fair trade on campus.
The group promotes fair trade at 9 p.m. every Thursday in the Moudy Building North during Senseless Acts of Comedy.
“We give out free coffee, sell shirts and give students a chance to sign a petition to help bring more fair trade products to TCU,” Strickland said.