Tuesday, May 01, 2007

FAIR TRADE, CORPORATIONS AND THE SOCIAL ECONOMY

PANEL: BILL BARRETT, PLANET BEAN COFFEE
GAVIN FRIDELL, TRENT UNIVERSITY
GRAEME HUSSEY, KARMA CO-OP

Wednesday, May 16, 2007
12:00 pm - 1:30 pm.

Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto
252 Bloor St. West, Toronto
Room 12-199

While the Fair Trade movement was originally an exclusively social economy movement, there has been increasing participation by traditional businesses, most notably large corporations, in recent years. Some would suggest that this increased participation by corporations has been a good development as it has contributed significantly to the movement’s tremendous growth. Others are less sanguine about the role that corporations have been playing, suggesting that it is altering the nature of Fair Trade and perhaps undermining its long term survival. This panel will examine the current state of Fair Trade in Canada, especially the opportunities that Fair Trade present for social economy actors and the challenges that corporate involvement in Fair Trade create for them.

Bill Barrett has been involved in importing, roasting and selling fair trade organic coffee since 1998. He is currently one of the owners of Planet Bean Coffee a worker co-op coffee roastery located in Guelph. Bill has nearly two decades of experience working in the social justice and ecology movements. This experience informs how he approaches business and economic development. He has had an opportunity to visit several of the co-ops which grow Planet Bean's coffee and film and interview the people involved in those organizations to gage the impact fair trade has on their lives.

Gavin Fridell is an Assistant Professor of Politics at Trent University. He is the author of Fair Trade Coffee: The Prospects and Pitfalls of Market-Driven Social Justice (University of Toronto Press: 2007), and has current and forthcoming articles in the Canadian Journal of Development Studies, Historical Materialism, the Journal of Academic Ethics, the Journal of Business Ethics, and Latin American
Perspectives.

Graeme Hussey is a firm believer in the power of values-based enterprises to drive social change. Currently, he is the General Manager of Karma Co-op, Toronto’s only consumer-owned retail grocery store. Graeme volunteers as the board president of the Ontario Natural Food Co-operative, board advisor to the Canadian Students’ Fair Trade Network, and was a participant in the Maytree Foundation’s Leaders for Change program. He is a former research analyst of Jantzi Research Inc., Canada’s leading social investment research company. Graeme has an educational background in environmental engineering and international project management.

Bring your lunch and a mug; coffee, tea and water will be provided. For more information, go to http://sec.oise.utoronto.ca/english/lectures.php

To RSVP, or for more information, contact Sherap Winn at swinn@oise.utoronto.ca or (416) 923-6641, ext. 2087.

1 comment:

Alicia said...

For those of you who are interested in the issue of Fair trade, there is a powerful documentary out called “Black Gold,” that documents the lives of Ethiopian coffee farmers and clearly demonstrates why all of us should be asking for Fair Trade coffee. The film was recently released in the theater but is now available to the public on DVD via California Newsreel. You can read more about the documentary or pick up a copy of it here at http://newsreel.org/