Why our Coffee Choices Matter: Local and Global Connections of a World-Changing Commodity

Date(s) - 04/03/2014
3:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Library Conference Room 1-470, Richard J. Daley Library

UIC Global Learning Community presents

2013 Featured Scholar Lecture Reception

Why our Coffee Choices Matter: Local and Global Connections of a World-Changing Commodity

Catherine Tucker, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology
Center for the Study of Institutions, Population and Environmental Change
Indiana University

The majority of the adult population in the USA drinks coffee, but most of us have limited understanding of how our coffee choices affect the people who grow coffee and the natural environment. Historically, nations fought wars over the control of coffee markets. Today, transnational corporations control the majority of coffee trade, but Fair Trade and certified coffee (shadegrown, organic, and others) represent a growing yet sometimes confusing alternative for consumers. For farmers, certifications offer hope for improving their livelihoods as they experience climbing costs, uncertain prices, and risks from bad weather, climate change, and coffee pests. But do certifications solve the problems associated with coffee production, including deforestation, water pollution, poverty and social inequities? What are the wise options for responsible consumers? By considering connections between our coffee consumption and the lives of people in coffee-growing countries around the world, this talk will explore why and how our decisions can make a difference locally and globally.

For more information, call (312) 355-0867 or email glc@las.uic.edu.

This event has been made possible thanks to the support of the UIC Global Learning Community and the UIC College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

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