Coffee Trading Debate in Australia

Essay 1 task description

Barry Manilow is the founder and owner of the iconic regional Australian café chain Copaca-
bana Cuppas, headquartered in a town of Copacabana on the picturesque New South Wales

Central Coast. With Australia’s undying passion for all types of coffee beverages, the Central
Coast’s growing population, and persistently sinking global coffee prices, business has been
truly good for Barry. While Barry is certainly not complaining about low coffee prices, he has
grown somewhat concerned after recently learning about the dire poverty in some of the

coffee bean producing countries themselves. A recent Four Corners program on the ABC ar-
gued that particularly the coffee farmers in coffee producing countries were suffering terribly

from the record lows in global coffee prices, with many farmers struggling to make ends meet
and feed their families. Barry worries about how many of them would be able to survive in
the long run, how possibly lower numbers of coffee farmers might affect coffee prices in the
future, and what his own role was in the whole drama.
After some deliberation on how he could have at least some positive impact on the people at
the other side of the coffee trade, Barry is considering a switch to 100% Fairtrade coffee.

Making the switch to Fairtrade coffee was first put to him by Scott English, a local self-em-
ployed, semi-professional industry consultant and very loyal customer of Barry’s, as a way of

differentiating the business as well as sending a strong message of Copacabana Cuppas’ com-
mitment to global social responsibility to its caffeine-addicted patrons.

Two sides of the debate
Before looking any further into the potential benefits of Scott’s high-flying visions though,
Barry wanted to know if Fairtrade itself was fair dinkum (a legitimate operation) in the first
place. After all, Barry was a businessman and was not of a mind to fall for some fancy idea
that had no merit and which might end up harming Copacabana Cuppas’ bottom-line and the

people who worked for him. Barry recently researched on the Fairtrade Australian/New Zea-
land’s own website and got some knowledge of what Fairtrade does and their impact. How-
ever, Mandy Deixler, a trusted long-time friend from his local Tuggeralong council, has re-
cently given Barry an article on the topic of Fairtrade, which was written by an Economics

professor and is rather critical of Fairtrade. Barry is delighted as both sources contain a wealth
of information on Fairtrade, but since they take opposing positions on the issue he doesn’t

feel much wiser than before. Although Barry has been known most of his life for his astound-
ing intellectual capacities, he is now somewhat overwhelmed by the conflicting claims on

Barry has hired you as a third-party independent consultant and tasked you to write a short
evaluation in essay format. The essay should evaluate the two sides of the debate and then
conclude with a clear and well-justified recommendation on whether Barry should switch to
Fairtrade coffee for his business.

BUSS5020 Essay 1 S22019


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In the essay you must:
1. write a succinct introduction;
2. critically evaluate the two sides of the debate; and
3. conclude with a well-justified recommendation.
Please note: Barry is not interested in a summary or a list of all arguments and facts presented
in the two sources. Instead he wants you to weigh up those arguments and facts that you find
the most relevant in an evaluative manner. Considering the word limit you should restrict
your essay to a maximum of 3 or 4 of the arguments presented.
Critical thinking is a key component of the exercise and we are looking for originality of

thought. In so doing, you must draw on additional research from other reliable English lan-
guage sources, especially peer-reviewed academic journal articles and, if applicable, relevant

industry, government and non-government publications. You can find the Library’s guide to
finding business related research here.
By way of guidance, it is recommended that your essay should spend:
1. Roughly 50 words on introduction;
2. 350-500 words on critically evaluating the argument(s); and
3. 80-100 words on a conclusion.
4. Your essay must include a reference list.
This Essay task is worth 10% of your final grade, and should not exceed 800 words in length,
including in-text references, reference list, and any text in tables, diagrams, etc. Your essay
must also contain a reference list, which is also included in the word count. The essay must
be submitted in .doc or .docx format.
Your filename must take the format SID_BUSS5020_2019S2_Essay.docx, where SID is your
SID, e.g. A student with the SID 012345678 would have the filename:

The essay must be properly referenced in accordance with the American Psychological Asso-
ciation (APA) 6th edition style. Details are available on the Library website. The essay must

adhere to the University’s Academic Honesty in Coursework Policy 2015, and other relevant
University policies.
The Essay is due no later than 10:00AM on 30 August 2019.

The University has authorised and mandated the use of text-based similarity detecting soft-
ware for all text-based written assignments. The task must therefore be submitted through

Turnitin on Canvas. You may resubmit the essay until the due date/time, after which no fur-
ther resubmissions will be accepted. You are responsible for ensuring the correct document

(not a draft) is submitted. The document in Turnitin at the deadline is the document that will
be marked, and no discussion will be entered into to the contrary nor any special pleading

BUSS5020 Essay 1 S22019

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Essays will be graded against the following criteria:
• conforming with instructions;
• critical analysis and evaluation;
• research; and
• presentation and communication.
Please see the rubric on Canvas for a more detailed explanation and additional resources.
Standard Business School penalties apply for papers submitted late and/or over the word limit.
It is your responsibility to ensure you are acquainted with these policies.
Late penalties
Assessments which are submitted after the assessment deadline will incur a late penalty of
5% per day or part thereof up to 10 calendar days, after which a mark of zero is applied. The
closing date is 10 calendar days after the due date. Since submission is electronic, for the
purpose of calculating penalties, weekends, public holidays, and ordinary working days ALL
count as days.
Word limit
A penalty is applied to papers which exceed the word limit. Where a student exceeds the
word limit, the student will lose 10% of the total marks when the submission is 10% above
the word limit and 10% for each 10% over-limit thereafter. Note that the word limit includes
the executive summary, in-text referencing, and the reference list at the end of the document.
Any text in tables, images, etc. is also included. Since the stated word limit for this assessment
is 800 words, this means students can write up to 879 words without incurring a word limit
The final mark will be made available to students via Canvas when available. Written feedback
will be available on Turnitin.