Friday, January 29, 2016

The Archdiocese Now Serving Only Fair Trade Coffee.

Years agos, before Archbishop Sample's arrival, the second floor of the Pastoral Center had a coffee cart filled with air-pots of Starbucks coffee. (Starbucks is across the street as is Whole Foods).  There were different flavors of syrup for the coffee as well as Lindor candies wrapped in colorful paper.  Extra-sized cookies were also available.  

This was observed twice and months apart.  Others noticed the same thing so it seemed to be the norm. 

Having "Fair-trade" coffee that is more expensive, probably, shows more of a mentality of wealth and doesn't seem to put  "collection plate money" to good use.  In fact, bringing a thermos of coffee from home is more "Catholic" than using Fair trade coffee and might be more appropriate to put on the front page.   But this might be just a matter of opinion. 

Here are some links on the subject.

http://ssir.org/articles/entry/the_problem_with_fair_trade_coffee

https://www.organicconsumers.org/news/pros-and-cons-fair-trade-coffee

 http://www.explainthatstuff.com/fairtrade.html


                                   Archdiocese Serving Fair Trade Coffee


Employees at the Archdiocese of Portland pastoral center stop for a coffee break.

The Archdiocese of Portland will serve only fair trade coffee at the Pastoral Center in Northeast Portland. The move is meant to help the archdiocese live consistently with Catholic social teaching, since fair trade coffee benefits the poor and vulnerable instead of large corporations.

“Fair trade coffee supports farmers in developing countries who are socially and economically marginalized,” says Matt Cato director of the archdiocese’s Office of Life, Justice and Peace. “Fair trade guarantees that small-scale coffee bean farmers in Third-World countries achieve a fair price for their beans.”

Cato says fair trade promotes the dignity of workers by ensuring fair wages and by helping vulnerable producers maintain their livelihoods when traditional economic structures shut them out.

“Fair trade is Catholic,” Cato says. “Fair trade coffee costs a little but more, but it is the right thing to do.”
 

8 comments:

Theodore Seeber said...

If they are buying it from Starbucks, then I for one have a problem with that. If they are buying it from the CRS Fair Trade, well, that is another story entirely.

Starbucks profits go to fight the church on issues like abortion and same sex marriage.

CRS Fair Trade brand, on the other hand, the profits go to the largely Catholic farmers struggling overseas.

Anonymous said...

So what is wrong with "large corporations"? You mean those entities that create thousands of jobs and on top of it pay your medical coverage? What is wrong with "benefiting the poor and vulnerable" in our own country? Or even right here in Oregon? You cannot buy coffee in Oregon?

How about hopping down to the corner grocery for a can of Maxwell House? How about the drinkers of this coffee pitching in monthly for a buck or two so they are paying for their coffee instead of those whom THEY are supposed to serve in this diocese?

As for choosing the "more expensive" coffee because it's the "right thing to do," are you sure about that? It's the "right" thing for you as a personal choice. Should your narrow views be forced on the Chancery? Is that an ethical or moral choice? I believe the former, so it has nothing to do with religion. To imply one must buy coffee from the 3rd world in order to be a Catholic is insupportable.

If you want to order it, fine, but at least admit it is your own personal preference. There is no obligation of any Catholic to make financial and business decisions, or pastoral ones, in deference to "fair trade" outfits instead of businesses, be they corporations, non-profits, religious orders (many Catholic nuns and monks sell coffee) or local shops.

Theodore Seeber said...

What is wrong with the large corporations like Maxwell House? They refuse to pay a living wage to their workers and then they turn around and lobby for anti-life politicians in Washington DC to maintain abortion and same sex marriage.

If coffee grew in Oregon, I would buy local. Some local Oregon roasters and coffee shops do buy CRS Fair Trade, which is often cheaper than other fair trade coffees, because it cuts out the first world profit.

Jim Welsh said...

Just in case readers don't know what CRS stands for, it is the Catholic Relief Society, that often wayward organization that seems to get mixed up with contraception promoting groups and have to wiggle its way out of these public relations (not to mention the scandal to observing Catholics) messes. Just another reason why many, many Catholics do not contribute to CRS. There are lots of better Catholic organizations to support. Gosh, did I forget a couple of years ago the scandal of the highly placed CRS Board member who was married to his male "partner"? Apparently CRS was so busy selling coffee that everyone in the Baltimore main office was unaware of the "happy" event. He was hustled off to Buffalo or some coffee plantation when the orthodox Catholic press got ahold of that. CRS can't seem to get those Catholic things quite right but boy can they sell high priced coffee! Things must be slow down at the chancellery that the ArchPrincess Mary Jo has time to hustle coffee in the break room.

Theodore Seeber said...

Yeah, but the Archdiocese is already supposed to be supporting CRS, so at least it is somewhat consistent.

The option for those who think that their religion is more important than paying less for coffee would be the utterly orthodox Mystic Monk:
https://www.mysticmonkcoffee.com/store/all-coffees1-c6.php

Where you can at least add a rosary and a pack of prayer cards to your coffee order.

Jim Welsh said...

Re Matt Cato's comment that drinking fair trade (coffee) is Catholic:

"Forgive me, Father, for I have sinned. This past month I have drank over 30 cups of Folgers Coffee".

"Any other serious sins?"

"No, Father, but I am awaiting Matt Cato's latest instructions on whether Catholics can participate in murder by eating meat."

"Yes, my son, we'll just have to wait and see what he says."

Terry said...

What is going on?

The Catholic Sentinel article (1/8/16) reporting on the vigil at City Hall protesting Islamaphobia made me extremely upset.

Why isn't the archbishop doing anything about the chancelor? She has no business supporting EMO or the muslim debate when we have so many other issues to focus on within our church. I think he's great but my patience is running out.

VOCAL said...

The reason that this was brought up at all is because in the Catholic Sentinel's on-line version it was the lead story. Looking at the paper copy, it was a buried article.

We are told by the Holy Father to watch what we spend money on. Our priorities seem a little out of balance to me and others I've heard from.

This is a Pastoral Center and people on the staff are being paid by Catholic Oregonians and we would like to know that our monies are being used wisely. There is a financial council, but how many need of them really need to find ways to save their money like "regular" Catholics in Oregon.

It isn't free money, it was given to be used well.