Over the past year, UCR Housing, Dining & Hospitality Services has introduced a variety of fair trade and sustainable coffee options to the many dining facilities on campus.

According to the Dining Services website, fair trade certified coffee “represents thousands of products that improve millions of lives by protecting land and waterways in 45 countries and counting.” Currently, the Italian Roast at Starbucks at the Market at Glen Mor and Estima at Bytes, Ivan’s, Emerbee’s and Scotty’s are all fair trade and also follow Coffee and Farmer Equity Practices (C.A.F.E.). The Dining Services website states that C.A.F.E. Practices “create a long-term supply of high-quality coffee and positively impact the lives and livelihoods of coffee farmers and their communities.”

In an interview with The Highlander, Benjamin Eisenstein, the marketing and strategic communications manager for UCR Housing, Dining & Hospitality Services wrote, “We’ve found that students of this generation – not just at UCR, but nationally – increasingly favor brands that align with their values.” Eisenstein stated that Housing, Dining & Hospitality Services introduced fair trade coffee options to UCR in order to be socially responsible and transparent about the items being sold on campus.

In addition to the fair trade options from Starbucks, two options from Mammoth Coffee Roasting have been added to the residential restaurants at A-I and Lothian. Mammoth Coffee Roasting is a company run by UCR Alumnus Steve Shatkin and 20% of the proceeds benefit the Guardian Scholars Program, which assists foster youth in pursuing a higher education. Mammoth is also certified by The Rainforest Alliance, which, according to the Dining Services website, “works with sustainable coffee farmers to improve their livelihoods and the health and well-being of their communities.”

Eisenstein acknowledged that there is still further work to be done in terms of sustainability on campus and encourages the UCR community to reach out to Housing, Dining & Hospitality Services with any ideas for improvement.

Eisenstein stated that for now, these criteria help to match the needs and values of students with the food and beverages they consume on campus. He wrote, “In the future, this will be even more the case as we continue to increase our sustainability programs and boost our plant-forward menu offerings. Stay tuned.”