Musings about Fair Trade

By Tess Black

While sitting in the Student Memorial Center where I am participating in a bake sale I noticed that Millersville University’s juice bar sells fair trade coffee. In order for a company to be labeled as fair trade, the company must provide a moral work environment, substantial wages to allow the workers to live above the poverty line, and perform processes that allow for future processes. There are many people that will only buy products that are fair trade and many companies are now making the switch. After noticing the juice bar participates in fair trade it made me wonder what other companies may also be fair trade. After doing a little research I learned that Sheetz, Starbucks, Green Mountain Coffee, and Seattle’s Best Coffee all participate in fair trade. One company that I was surprised to find is not a fair trade company was Hershey’s. Hershey’s makes many chocolate products as well as Twizzlers and Ice Breakers. Hershey’s does not treat its employees in such a way that aligns with fair trade. The biggest area where Hershey’s is not fair trade is dealing with the workers overseas. Hershey’s products are made from cocoa which has to be harvested. The company uses small children who are given large machetes to harvest the cocoa. These children are promised better lives for themselves and their families, however they rarely are given anything they are promised.