"We have a long way to go to convince consumers that fair trade coffee is the way to help the poor."
83% of US residents wake up each morning anticipating a frothy cup of coffee before beginning their day, but what percentage actually consider the social and environmental effects each cup contributes to?
Because sourcing fair-trade coffee can have a tremendous impact on those growing the beans and preparing them for transport to wealthier clientele, actor and activist Hugh Jackman has stepped up to help raise awareness for the cause as a vocal advocate.
In a new documentary titled “Dukale’s Dream”, Jackman – who is likely best known for his roles in Xmen and Les Mis – travels to Ethiopia with his family to meet Fair Trade farmers and learn about both their product and their livelihoods.
With his wife Debora-Lee Furness and the humanitarian aid organization World Vision, the team meets a local farmer named Dukale and learn about the positive impacts fair-trade coffee can have.
Said Jackman to the Hollywood Reporter:
“I’m kind of playing the role of every man here, who kind of sort of understood what fair trade was but in reality didn’t, and now by tracing that story right through to the cafe in New York, people can just visually understand that the simple choice that they can make can make such a massive difference on the other end of the chain.”
To be certified Fair Trade, farmers must work under safe conditions, abstain from using chemicals and GMOs, and disclose the process while following proper conservation techniques.
Director Josh Rothstein began documenting the efforts of Jackman and Furness over six years ago for World Vision; the initial plan was to create a short documentary about the organization, but it transformed into something far greater from there. One might even suggest it was fate they met Dukale.
“When Hugh and Dukale met, there was just an intangible connection and sort of an immediate camaraderie and friendship between the two guys sort of despite language barriers,” Rothstein said to the Hollywood Reporter. “But it wasn’t until I got back and looked at that footage and was like, ‘Wow that really translates,’ that there was an inkling that I had at least as a filmmaker.”
At the end of the documentary, Jackman ends up creating his fair-trade brand called Laughing Man. He concocted the blend in the farmer’s honor named Dukale’s Dream, and 100 percent of the brand’s profits go to charity.
You can watch the trailer for the film below:
Having premiered last week, the film will make its way to select theaters before being available on demand on July 14. Reviews have been mixed, regarding it as informative and sincere, not lacking cinematic quality.
But regardless, it’s great seeing individuals from all walks of life join to raise awareness for concerns that matter and truly affect everyone.
What are your thoughts? Share in the comments section below.
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