Saturday, 30 June 2007

Coffee / Cre8

SLLU are involved in a few exciting projects around Second Life - two of which are detailed here - more to follow. All of these projects are designed by our members to facilitate learning.


There are coffee shops on every high street. Places like Starbucks and Costa Coffee have become common place. SLLU have opened a coffee shop in Second Life - click on one of the images below for a slurl - if you are logged into sl, you will be tp'ed there. If you are not yet a Second Lifer, click on the image and then follow the instructions on how to set up free membership and when you have arrived in SL - look up Second Life Left Unity group!

Farmers only get around 10p of every £2.00 or more we spend on coffee – and that proportion is diminishing as free trade rules slice off more of their living standards. Even Fair Trade products are not addressing the poverty the coffee industry is creating.

The coffee trade is at the moment controlled almost entirely by four multinational companies – Kraft Foods, Nestlé, Procter & Gamble and Sara Lee. They sell coffee as a standardized retail good – sold at a relatively constant price. This masks wildly fluctuating prices on the commodity markets. And these prices have been falling since, in the past decade, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank have been deregulating the market. The IMF and WTO use Third World Debt to make countries turn more of their land over to producing cash crops such as coffee. This is the Irish Famine writ large. Entire countries forced to grow for export, while their own people starve.
The result? – Multinationals make HUGE profits from coffee while the 25 million growers are forced into poverty. Around 70 percent of coffee is grown on small farms in Africa, East Asia and Latin America.
Some non-governmental organizations are taking the coffee companies to task, but it is a drop in the ocean. The history of coffee is tied to capitalism – don’t forget that the first financial markets such as Lloyds and the London Stock Exchange where started in coffee shops. The London Stock exchange and the capitalists who used/ use it to make money have profited from the coffee trade from supplying slaves, insuring ships and supplying finance to coffee merchants. The emergence of an international market altered the balance of power in the trade in favour of importers. The New York Coffee Exchange was set up in 1882 to prevent producers from banding together.

Further reading:


The pictures below show some of the stunning creations you have made at the Cre8 Garden in memory and tribute to the victims of Capitalism/Capitalist Globalisation. Please click on any of the images to take you to the garden (if you are logged into SL - if not, and dont have an account, click on the images and you can create a free account, and then join in on our Second Life Left Unity work).

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