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May 8, 2006

Coffee documentary featuring UCSC screens May 8

The documentary film Birdsong and Coffee: A Wake Up Call illustrates the links between social justice and environmental conservation in the production of shade-grown coffee by small-scale growers. It also highlights the partnership among UCSC, the Santa Cruz community, the Community Agroecology Network (CAN), and communities in Central America and Mexico.

Film poster

Birdsong and Coffee: A Wake Up Call tells the story of Costa Rican farmers and their collaboration with UCSC students, researchers, and consumers.

The film will be screened as part of an "Intercultural Cafe" on Monday, May 8, from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. in Classroom Unit 2. The event will begin with a Fair Trade Marketplace from 5:30 to 7 p.m., during which local social-justice organizations will share information and merchants will sell fair-trade products. The film will begin at 7 p.m.

Birdsong and Coffee: A Wake Up Call tells the story of Costa Rican farmers and their collaboration with UCSC students, researchers, and consumers. Members of the UCSC community are featured in the documentary, much of which was filmed on the UCSC campus.

Following the film, Jacqueline Jimenez Herrera of Costa Rica will participate in a discussion of the "coffee crisis." Coffee is the second-most-traded commodity in the world after oil, according to Congressman Sam Farr. The worldwide plunge of coffee prices in 2001 triggered an economic crisis among many rural coffee-dependent communities around the globe and sparked efforts to build coalitions between coffee consumers and producers to offer farmers a greater share of the profits of their labor.

CAN, a nonprofit organization based in Santa Cruz, works directly with five coffee-producing communities in Mexico and Central America to develop ecologically sound and socially just coffee production practices. UCSC Dining Services now buys much of its coffee from CAN partner communities as part of the campus's sustainability campaign.

The "Intercultural Cafe" is presented by CAN and the Education for Sustainable Living Program (ESLP) with cosponsorship by UCSC Dining Services, the Environmental Studies Department, and College Eight. For more information, call (831) 459-3619.

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