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Caffeine with a Conscience
Wicks, Andrew C.; Mead, Jenny Case E-0327 / Published August 18, 2008 / 12 pages.
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Product Overview

Is "Fair Trade" really fair? This case examines the concept, history, and logistics of the Fair Trade movement, specifically for coffee. Fair Trade began as an attempt to ensure farmers received fair compensation for their crops and credit when needed. Fair Trade also provided opportunities to help coffee growers learn best practices and sustainable farming methods (minimal damage to the environment, for example). But Fair Trade had its critics, who claimed that ultimately the farmers did not benefit and that retailers charged more for Fair Trade products and pocketed the difference. This case examines these issues through the eyes of one coffee-drinker who has specifically chosen her caffeine venue because of the Fair Trade designation.


Learning Objectives

To consider the obligations and responsibilities one has to ameliorate living conditions and minimize environmental damage elsewhere in the world. To investigate a variety of issues, including those related to truth in advertising; the accuracy of consumer information; corporate responsibility and corporations as moral agents; and what constitutes an ethical issue. To think about how an individual can make changes in the world, even in small ways.

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  • Overview

    Is "Fair Trade" really fair? This case examines the concept, history, and logistics of the Fair Trade movement, specifically for coffee. Fair Trade began as an attempt to ensure farmers received fair compensation for their crops and credit when needed. Fair Trade also provided opportunities to help coffee growers learn best practices and sustainable farming methods (minimal damage to the environment, for example). But Fair Trade had its critics, who claimed that ultimately the farmers did not benefit and that retailers charged more for Fair Trade products and pocketed the difference. This case examines these issues through the eyes of one coffee-drinker who has specifically chosen her caffeine venue because of the Fair Trade designation.

  • Learning Objectives

    Learning Objectives

    To consider the obligations and responsibilities one has to ameliorate living conditions and minimize environmental damage elsewhere in the world. To investigate a variety of issues, including those related to truth in advertising; the accuracy of consumer information; corporate responsibility and corporations as moral agents; and what constitutes an ethical issue. To think about how an individual can make changes in the world, even in small ways.