Caffeine with a Conscience

Darden Business Publishing Cases

ISSN: 2474-7890

Publication date: 20 January 2017


Is “Fair Trade” really fair? This case examines the concept, history, and logistics of the Fair Trade movement, specifically for coffee. Fair Trade began as an attempt to ensure farmers received fair compensation for their crops and credit when needed. Fair Trade also provided opportunities to help coffee growers learn best practices and sustainable farming methods (minimal damage to the environment, for example). But Fair Trade had its critics, who claimed that ultimately the farmers did not benefit and that retailers charged more for Fair Trade products and pocketed the difference. This case examines these issues through the eyes of one coffee-drinker who has specifically chosen her caffeine venue because of the Fair Trade designation.



Wicks, A. and Mead, J. (2017), "Caffeine with a Conscience", Darden Business Publishing Cases.

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