West Virginia University’s new coffee selection is about to make the world feel a little bit smaller. Dining Services is partnering with WVU Fair Trade 2.0 to provide FirstHand Coffee at select locations across WVU’s campus starting this fall.
FirstHand is a coffee brand developed by WVU Fair Trade 2.0, a student organization unique to WVU that raises funds through fair trade coffee sales to support cooperative development projects in Central America. FirstHand Coffee is organically grown, fairly traded and sourced only from democratically managed cooperatives. Farmers are paid above market prices for producing high-quality coffee under conditions that protect the natural environment. FirstHand Coffee also uses 100 percent of its profits to support income diversification and food sovereignty projects in coffee farming communities.
“FirstHand improves every part of our current coffee offerings,” said David Friend, director of Dining Services. “We can work with some of WVU’s best and brightest students through WVU Fair Trade 2.0. Our coffee is roasted close by, stimulates the local economy and the farmers who grow it are paid fair prices.
“To my knowledge, no other university has this kind of relationship with its coffee supplier. Thanks to WVU Fair Trade 2.0, we can partner with students and farmers and really make a difference for everyone involved.”
FirstHand Coffee is roasted by 19 Coffee Company, a micro-roaster in Washington, Pa. All FirstHand Coffee will be delivered to campus within 48 hours of roasting, ensuring that the coffee served on campus is at peak flavor.
Founded in 2010, WVU Fair Trade 2.0 has raised more than $10,000 from coffee sales to invest in market gardening, eco-tourism and educational programs for coffee farming communities. Students work in conjunction with Cooperativa La Hermadad, an organization representing 20 farming families in San Ramon, Nicaragua.
“This project benefits everyone involved, from students on campus to the co-op members in Nicaragua. By partnering with WVU Dining Services we can significantly expand our work with communities in Central America,” said Tyler Huling, Fair Trade 2.0 president and senior geography major from Anchorage, Alaska. “I am absolutely thrilled that students at WVU can now get a great cup of quality, fairly traded coffee on campus.”
Bradley Wilson, assistant professor of geography and co-founder of Fair Trade 2.0 said: “Through the funds that students raise by selling FirstHand Coffee, the WVU and greater Morgantown community contributes to social and economic projects that change lives. And it isn’t a one-way street. Through our relationships with friends like La Hermadad in Nicaragua, our lives have changed as well. We are building bridges that connect WVU to communities across the world.”
CONTACT: Bryan Jarrell, WVU Dining Services
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