October 10, 2007 · 6:00 PM
This location is shown only to members
For our October Meetup, we will be joined by Elizabeth Gilhuly, organizer of the Washington DC Fair Trade Coalition and Tamiru Degefa, CEO of Abol Coffee. We'll screen the documentary "Black Gold" which follows Tadesse Meskela, the manager of Oromia Coffee Farmers Co-operative Union, as he tries to get a living wage for the 70,000 Ethiopian coffee farmers he represents [see full description below].
Join us at 6:00pm for snacks and casual conversation. We'll begin the film at 6:30pm, to be followed by discussion and a coffee tasting with Abol Coffee Inc.
We hope you can join us!
Multinational coffee companies now rule our shopping malls and supermarkets and dominate the industry worth over $80 billion, making coffee the most valuable trading commodity in the world after oil, but the price paid to coffee farmers remains low. Nowhere is this paradox more evident than in Ethiopia, the birthplace of coffee. Black Gold follows Tadesse Meskela [Manager of the Oromia Coffee Farmers Co-operative Union] as he tries to get a living wage for the 70,000 Ethiopian coffee farmers he represents. Black Gold offers a compelling introduction to the "Fair Trade" movement galvanizing consumers around the globe. At the [World Trade Organization] conference, one African delegate explains, "Trade is more imp ortant than aid." Seven million Ethiopians are dependent on aid and Africa exports a smaller percentage of world trade today than 20 years ago - only 1%. If that figure only doubled it would represent 70 billion dollars, five times the amount of aid the continent receives.
Filmmakers, brothers Nick and Marc Francis, purpose was "to make a film that forced us, as Western consumers, to question some of our basic assumptions about our consumer lifestyle and its interaction with the rest of the world. And in so doing, we wanted to challenge the way in which the Western media bombards its audiences with an overload of de-contextualized images depicting poverty in Africa with no link to our own lives."