UVic Moves Beyond Fair Trade

Customers buying their java at the University of Victoria’s new Arts Place café in the Fine Arts building and Mac’s bistro in the MacLaurin building will be helping the university set a new sustainability standard.

The house coffee is from Thailand’s Doi Chaang Coffee Company and goes beyond fair trade. The growers retain 100 per cent of their proceeds from the sale of their beans in addition to benefiting from having a 50 per cent share in their company.

“UVic is the first Canadian university to move beyond fair trade, where growers get a fair price for their product, to serve coffee whose growers also benefit from partial ownership in their company,” says Sarah Dusterbeck, the coordinator of marketing and communications for University Food Services. “By serving Doi Chaang coffee we’re supporting ethical trading and sustainable growing practices.”

Doi Chaang is owned by Vancouver-based Canterbury Coffee, itself a fair trade company, whose coffee is served in the rest of the food outlets operated by the university. The Doi Chaang Village is located in a mountainous region within the Chiang Rai province of northern Thailand.

{advertisement} To introduce the university community to the new house brew, UVic will be serving complimentary Doi Chaang coffee from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. under a tent in the university quadrangle by the MacLaurin Building on Sept. 7 and 8. Wicha, a member of the Doi Chaang village, will also be present to serve and discuss his village’s product.