Global Development Meetup October Meetup

  • 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!

Many thanks, Heather Haines

Black Gold:
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."

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  • Maggie

    The topic was of great interest to me and hopefully helped raise awareness among the participants.

    October 12, 2007

  • Liz

    I appreciated that the film was shown. I thought the event could have used greater facilitation, perhaps even a short discussion. This was my first time at a CGD meetup and it was not clear if there was a sense of purpose to the group or if the group just hosts these topic forums for people to attend. Also, it was great that the woman from fair trade was there to lend an advocacy voice to fair trade, but it would have also been useful to have someone from more of the political-economy side of fair trade. Most people at the event work and/or have studied development and were looking for more in depth information.

    October 11, 2007

  • A former member
    A former member

    I loved the subject matter and would welcome exploring the issues of fair trade in more detail. Thank you for organizing the event.

    October 10, 2007

  • A former member
    A former member

    Informative film that motivated me to change and tell others about free trade

    October 10, 2007

  • Joel

    Nice. There was a little bit of "hard sell" feeling about the Fair Trade issue. I would have liked a bit more of intelligent discussion about the economics and other aspects.

    October 10, 2007

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