In October 2007, Black Gold, the powerful film about coffee made by Nick and Marc Francis was shown at the Real Food Fair at the Whitworth Art Gallery. Black Gold uncomfortably contrasts the plight of Ethiopian Coffee Farmers with the Starbucks lifestyle of Westerners at the height of the coffee crisis when world coffee prices were at a 30 year low. While we drank our cappuccinos, many of them starved.
Since the film was shot, the world price of coffee is higher but coffee farmers still suffer from highly volatile global free trade prices, determined largely on the futures markets in New York and London. However, more and more farmers are now able to avoid these markets by selling into the growing Fairtrade coffee market, which guarantees a minimum price, plus a development premium.
Cumbrian Fairtrade campaigner, Joe Human, and his photographer son, Richard, went to Ethiopia in October 2007 to document the impact of Fairtrade on coffee farming communities. A selection of images taken by Richard Human, who has photographed widely in Africa, will be exhibited in the Whitworth Art Gallery CafÃ© in Fairtrade Fortnight, 25th February to 9th March 2008.
There will be a selection of Fairtrade cakes and bakes on offer including Banana, Honey & Sultana Loaf, and Chocolate & Walnut Brownies as well as a selection of Fairtrade wines.
Events are taking place nationwide during Fairtrade Fortnight. Visit the fairtrade.org.uk for more details.