Progress in Human Rights...Through Fairtrade Organic Coffee?

Posted by Eva Smith on

The Declaration of Human Rights 

2018 marks the 70th anniversary of the United Nations adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Declared in 1948, the Declaration of Human Rights is the pursuit of peace, equality, justice and freedom for all. This historic document stands as the most translated document (over 500 languages) in the world. It sets an international standard for how each individual human should be treated and respected by their governments and by one another.  The 10th of December each year marks this momentous occasion when in response to the traumatic atrocities of World War 2, the United Nations sought to defend the rights and freedoms for all men, women and children. (3)


“I perceived clearly that I was participating in a truly significant historic event in which a consensus had been reached as to the supreme value of the human person, a value that did not originate in the decision of a worldly power, but rather in the fact of existing—which gave rise to the inalienable right to live free from want and oppression and to fully develop one’s personality.  In the Great Hall…there was an atmosphere of genuine solidarity and brotherhood among men and women from all latitudes, the like of which I have not seen again in any international setting.”


Hernán Santa Cruz of Chile (member of the drafting sub-Committee), speaking on the General Assembly meeting in Paris on 10 December 1948, during the adoption of the Declaration of Human Rights.


Coffee Growers


Coffee and Human Rights 

There have been many times when we have wondered if our decision to put human rights at the centre of Montville Coffee's decision-making framework would make any difference at all. What we have learned is that taking an action in solidarity with another human being especially in difficult times creates a ripple effect. When we started our business nearly 20 years ago, Fairtrade Organic Coffee was not yet available in Australia. Certainly, B-Corporations, a global community of businesses competing to be the best IN the world had not yet become a force for good. 

We talk frequently in this blog about having confidence in the Certified Fairtrade Organic supply chain, in the training of youth and our community building activities because for us they are ways of creating a positive impact for our children and future generations. These are all ways that Montville Coffee puts human rights first. 


    Fairtrade Coffee Communities have benefitted from the United Nations Millennium Development Goals:

    1. Global Poverty has halved since 2000
    2. The enrolment of girls in school has increased from 74 girls to every 100 boys, to 103 girls to every 100 boys since 1990
    3. Child mortality has dropped by half (12.7 million to 6 million) in developing regions despite population growth
    4. Maternal mortality has dropped by 45% worldwide since 1990
    5. 98% of ozone-depleting substances have been eliminated since 1990. The ozone is expected to recover by 2050! (5)


    “Human rights are not a privilege conferred by government. They are every human being's entitlement by virtue of his humanity.”

    – Mother Teresa

    Montville Coffee


    We really want to encourage you to take action on any subject you feel passionate about. If we are looking to serve others positively; it does have value, it does have merit and it does change the society in which we live.  


    (1) Universal Declaration of Human Rights - Website

    (2) OHCHR.og - UDOHR in .pdf format

    (3) - Historical data


    (5) - Millennium Goals 2015


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