Fair Trade University

By Nick Cardilino

“Ooh! Chocolate! Can I have one?” she asked as she saw the boxes of fair trade miniature bars on the desk in the Center for Social Concern. 

“Of course,” I said. “Not only is this the best tasting chocolate you’ll ever have, but you can feel good about eating it, knowing that those who grew the organic cacao are being paid a fair wage for their work!” Yes, I bore people a lot with way too much information about this stuff, but it’s really important.

The vast majority of workers in the world are paid below poverty wages. Buying fair trade certified products is a great way to help workers to have a living wage and dignity in their work, important principles of Catholic Social Teaching. 

Thanks to the initiative and hard work of the students in the New Abolitionist Movement, especially Bradley Petrella, and the cooperation of Dining Services, the Bookstore, Financial Services, the Human Rights Department, Presidents Curran and Spina, ad others, the University of Dayton recently earned certification as a Fair Trade University. This means that there are numerous places on campus where you can purchase fair trade coffee, tea, apparel, handicrafts, nutrition bars, and, of course, chocolate. And the University passed a resolution to work towards expanding products and education on fair trade. 

So, do the research and make sure those who make the things you buy are being paid and treated well.

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