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Black Gold

The age-old story of David vs Goliath set in the context of the coffee industry.
By Laetitia Laubscher
May 19, 2015
By Laetitia Laubscher
May 19, 2015

Coffee: Who can live without it? Probably everyone. However, it's nice not to. Morning productivity and casual catch ups with friends would not be the same without the coffee bean. Unfortunately, while we lounge about sipping mochas, there are others slaving away at next to nothing wages in order to bring you your morning wake up.

Not cool.

Which is why Fair Trade was created - to help give people a decent wage for their hard work. Despite the criticism of its quality, its reinforcement measures and other niggles, Fair Trade is still a very noble and innovative concept which has changed the coffee scene drastically since its introduction. Fair Trade fortnight celebrates the new wave of socially aware latte sippers with a smorgasbord of events - including a screening of the 2006 film Black Gold.

Black Gold is a documentary set in Ethiopia where eleven million Ethiopians depend on coffee to make a living (which is 67% of the country's foreign export). However, despite coffee being the second most traded commodity in the world (after oil), and the seriously inflated prices found at cafes, Ethiopian workers earn less than 50 cents a day harvesting coffee. Again, not cool.

The film intercuts between the plight of businessman Tadesse Meskela to help raise the impoverished standard of living of coffee farmers and that of the high-end coffee tasting competitions and cafe scene, critically highlighting the unfair dichotomy and hypocrisy of it all. The New York Times called Black Gold 'the age-old David and Goliath story'.

It's a free screening and BYO cushion/beanbag. Karma Kola, People's coffee, Ritual Tea Company, and hot chocolate and chocolate from Trade Aid Wellington will be sold on site (cash only).

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