A new resource for students and teachers on coffee, communities, and conservation

By Oxfam
Farmer's Choice coffee, handed out to delegates during the International Coffee Organization (ICO) conference.

CAN, a US-based nonprofit organization that connects rural communities and consumers to promote sustainable farming practices, created the handbook to help college students prepare for 10-week participatory internships in coffee-growing communities. The handbook guides students through each step of their field study, with an emphasis on turning internship experiences into action on behalf of coffee farmers once the students return to the US.

The handbook also serves as a resource for high school students who are interested in learning more about Fair Trade coffee and sustainable farming. It provides an in-depth look at the social, economic, and environmental background of the coffee crisis, and describes the links between conservation and economic development. Professors can use the handbook as a learning curriculum for academic courses since it contains a comprehensive list of resources for further reading.

Oxfam America helped CAN develop this resource as part of our broader work with student-led Fair Trade organizations, such as the United Students for Fair Trade.

"Students have played an important role in raising the awareness and sales of Fair Trade coffee on college campuses across the country," said Elisa Arond, Oxfam?'s Coffee and Fair Trade Outreach Assistant. "The 'Field Study Handbook' is a great resource because it deepens students' understanding of the issues as well as their connections to coffee-growing communities."

Download a free, electronic copy of the "Field Study Handbook" and learn more about the internship program.

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