Black Gold movie screening in Rostock
by Tobias Hauschild, policy adviser for the G8 at Oxfam Germany.
I went to Black Gold movie screening Oxfam Germany organized last Sunday in Rostock. I am part of the Oxfam team here working on the G8. Although trade is not the highest priority of the G8’s discussions this year, trade justice is crucial to ending poverty. And that’s what we are here to demand the G8 does!
When I arrived I was quite surprised how many people had come to watch the film. We had already shown the film in several German cities before – but we never had so much interest. It was amazing.
You might ask what this film is all about. Tadesse Meskela is the director of Oromia Coffee Farmers Co-operative Union, and he works hard to bring justice to Ethiopian coffee farmers by trying to sell their coffee to traders and companies in rich countries at a fair price. His heroic work is at the centre of the film. Ethiopia is the largest coffee producer in Africa – and it is still one of the world’s poorest countries. Ethiopian coffee farmers are forced to sell their coffee beans at a very low price. They don’t earn enough money to live a life without poverty. Their families suffer hunger, and often their children cannot go to school since wages for teachers, school fees or materials cannot be paid. I know that education is key to people escaping from poverty, so when I watch this film I ask myself how this situation can be changed.
Whilst watching the film I was getting more and more angry – something has to be done. And I am not the only one who feels like this. After the film, about 50 people took part in a discussion with Jörn Kalinski, Head of Campaigns at Oxfam Germany. People talked about how to change the current situation of coffee farmers in the South. They wanted to know what ordinary people can do to help break this cycle of poverty. Opinions in the room were varied, but there was one simple thing everyone seemed to agree on. They all felt that by buying fair traded coffee and other products, consumers in the North can support farmers in poor countries so that they are able to sell their products at a fair price. It’s in our hands to support these people. Just like its in our hands to demand the G8 keep all of the promises and do more to end global poverty.
If you want to find out more information on the film, take a look at the Black Gold website
Entry filed under: G8 2007 - Germany.