Editorial: Caffeine With a Conscience: SU’s Fair Trade

As of Nov. 24, Seattle University is now one of only 26 Fair Trade universities in the country, and is the first university in the Pacific Northwest to earn the designation, the SU Commons reported last week.
The initiative, largely led by chemistry professor Sue Jackels and economics professor Quan Le in association with Seattle U’s Global Business Club, was finalized with the signing of a fair trade resolution at a campus event attended by President Fr. Stephen Sundborg, S.J. A Nicaraguan fair trade coffee created in collaboration with a Jesuit school in Managua was also unveiled at the event. Fair trade products will now be available at SU’s dining centers and retail areas.

By pledging its commitment to fair trade, the university has seized a meaningful opportunity to act according to its mission and values. Fair trade guarantees farmers a minimum price for their wares and builds relationships between farmers and suppliers—relationships that help everyone to thrive.

Seattle U gets a lot of flack for occasionally falling short of its mission statement, sometimes from this very paper. But it’s just as important to celebrate those moments when Seattle U makes us proud, especially in this season of thankfulness and goodwill.

So well done, Seattle U. Well done to the professors and students who pushed this initiative through, and to the hardworking farmers who grow our coffee. It’ll be nice to sip our peppermint mochas with a clearer conscience this holiday season.