Through just one cup of coffee, we are inextricably connected to the livelihoods of millions of people around the world who are struggling to survive.--from the Director's Statement, Black Gold
Black Gold is the kind of movie that makes you want to buy Fair Trade certified coffee, chocolate, Fair Trade everything. Now when I see a Fair Trade certified symbol (pictured here), I see two images from Black Gold in my mind: one of a long table of Ethiopian women sorting through thousands of coffee beans by hand for 50 cents a day, and another of a child being weighed at a therapeutic feeding station to determine if he is undernourished enough to receive food. According to Black Gold, a 1% increase in Africa's share of world trade would bring in five times more than what it receives in aid.
Black Gold tells the story of Tadesse Meskela, the manager of the Oromia Coffee Farmers Co-operative Union in Ethiopia. During the film Meskela tries to find buyers who will pay a higher price for his farmers' coffee. 67% of Ethiopia's export income is from coffee, so Meskela's story is the story of many Ethiopian farmers.
You'll probably be buying and drinking a lot of coffee this holiday season, so please consider buying Fair Trade coffee. According to TransFair USA, Fair Trade means fair price, fair labor conditions, direct trade, democratic and transparent organizations, community development, and environmental sustainability. You can find Fair Trade stores near you and online that sell Fair Trade products by searching on the TransFair USA site.
For an extra do * good bang for my buck, I just bought Newman's Own Organics Fair Trade Colombian Especial for our Thanksgiving dinner. Not only is it organic and Fair Trade, but Newman's Own Organics, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters and Coffee Kids are working together on an agricultural program that benefits women in Oaxaca.
Green Mountain Coffee also has a cool holiday gift idea for the coffee lovers on your list, a Fair Trade Organic Coffee Tour: two bags of a different Fair Trade, organic coffee each month for six months. Yum.
**Oh, and I forgot to mention that you can look on the Black Gold site to see where the movie will be showing near you and California Newsreel will be releasing it on DVD.