Do you ever think about where your coffee comes from, or how it is harvested and grown? So much of America's coffee is imported, we seldom get the backstory behind our favorite beans. The unfortunate truth is that many of our favorite "brand names" contribute (in many cases unknowingly) to forced and child labor and unfair trading practices in regions that depend on the coffee trade to survive. That's why we decided there's no option but Fair Trade Certification when it comes to all of our beans.
Fair Trade by definition is: "a trading partnership, based on dialogue, transparency and respect, that seeks greater equity in international trade. It contributes to sustainable development by offering better trading conditions to, and securing the rights of, marginalized producers and workers." -World Fair Trade Organization
Some of the core principals of Fair Trade are:
- Opportunities for disadvantaged producers
- Transparency and accountability
- Fair Trading practices
- Fair payment
- No child labor or forced labor
- No discrimination; gender equity; freedom of association
- Good working conditions
- Respect for the environment
While all varieties of our beans are certified Fair Trade, we'd like to share the story of our Purist Sumatra Tunas Indah to show you first hand how important Fair Trade can be. These beans come from the Tunas Indah Cooperative (photo above) in the Sumatra region of Indonesia. The cooperative was formed in an effort to rebuild following civil war and a massive tsunami in December 2004 where 170,000 people were killed, and 500,000 were left homeless.
The Tunas Indah Cooperative now represents 3,620 producers throughout 33 villages in 6 districts of Northern Sumatra. With the social premiums they receive from their Fair Trade coffee, the cooperative has been able to provide fertilizers, agricultural tools, generators and building materials for their members. The farmers harvest, wash, hull and dry the green beans here, and produce a unique, USDA organic product, while prospering as a community.
We encourage you to take a step back and think before you buy. Look for Fair Trade certification on labels as you shop. Be a conscious consumer and an advocate. Be cool. Do good.