For Immediate Release

Contact:Deborah Gilleran
732.987.2266
gillerand@georgian.edu

Fair Trade Coffee and Chocolate Reception at Georgian Court University

Lakewood, N.J., March 26, 2008—Valkiria Barbosa Bezerra, a Georgian Court University student who owns a small coffee farm in Brazil, describes the backbreaking process of coffee harvesting. “You have to pick the beans one by one,” she says, “and the people who do the work are not the ones who make the money.” She emphasized that buying coffee and other products that bear the Fair Trade label, which gives the farmers a greater percentage of the coffee profits, will go a long way to rectifying the situation. “I want you to know when you have your cup of coffee in the morning where it comes from and that it makes a difference which coffee you choose.”

GCU and Catholic Relief Services will host an informative—and delicious—Fair Trade Coffee and Chocolate Reception on Thursday, April 10, from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. The reception will be held in the Casino Ballroom on the Lakewood campus and is free and open to the public. Reservations are required by calling 732.987.2276.

Why is Fair Trade labeling necessary? Millions of hard-working people around the world are living in extreme poverty, through no fault of their own. They lack access to the information, services, and infrastructure they need to participate as equals in the global economy. As a result, they are not earning their fair share of the wealth created by the international trade in their products.

Catholic Relief Services (CRS) is committed to building a world in which people live as one human family—a world that is free of war, poverty, and social injustice. The CRS Fair Trade Program gives us a chance to support poor people overseas through everyday choices we make about what to buy, drink, and eat. And Fair Trade has been successful. According to the Fair Trade Federation, the global Fair Trade cocoa, from which chocolate is produced, grew by 93% in 2006 and by 53% for coffee in the same year.

Myriam Betancourt, a senior at GCU, has been named a Fair Trade Ambassador. The duty of a Fair Trade Ambassador is to raise awareness of Fair Trade. “I’m very interested in human rights issues,” says Ms. Betancourt. “I believe this is a way to help people live as human beings and not be exploited.”

Ms. Betancourt will be one of the presenters at the reception. “I would like to inspire the people who attend this reception,” she says, “so that they can make a difference one purchase at a time.”

Founded in 1908 and sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy, Georgian Court University is a comprehensive university with a strong liberal arts core and a special concern for women. A forward-thinking university that supports diversity and academic excellence, Georgian Court serves over 3,000 students of all faiths and backgrounds in a residential Women's College and a coeducational University College with undergraduate and graduate programs. Georgian Court's main campus is located at 900 Lakewood Avenue, Lakewood, N.J., on the picturesque former George Jay Gould estate, now named a National Historic Landmark. Georgian Court also offers classes at its site at 90 Woodbridge Center Drive in Woodbridge, at Coastal Communiversity in Wall, and at Cumberland County College in Vineland.

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