Sustainability and Fair Trade Coffee

I’ve heard these terms before and continue to see them being used in the media, but what was wondering how they were defined exactly.

Wikipedia describes sustainability as follows:
“Sustainability is an attempt to provide the best outcomes for the human and natural environments both now and into the indefinite future.”

And Ben Jervey (author of The Big Green Apple: Your Guide to Eco-Friendly Living In New York City) writes: “Sustainability, from a human standpoint, is reached when an activity or system can be sustained over the long term without harming, degrading or diminishing the conditions – environmental, economic or other – necessary to support those same activities or systems.”

Meanwhile, the organization Global Exchange defines fair trade coffee as such: “Fair Trade means an equitable and fair partnership between consumers in North America and producers in Asia, Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean. The chief concern of the Fair Trade movement has been to ensure that the vast majority of the world’s coffee farmers (who are small holders) get a fair price for their harvests in order to achieve a decent living wage.”

For more on sustainable development and corporate social responsibility, check out these links on the Kellogg School of Management’s Social Impact Club website.


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