Lots of companies claim to sell “fair trade coffee”, but if they are not certified by the Fair Trade Federation or the Fairtrade Labeling Organizations International, these claims are unsubstantiated. ANY company can say they sell fair trade coffee, but only those that are certified can back that statement up! Official Fair Trade companies like Dean’s Beans are held accountable to the following standards:
- Transparency and Accountability
- Creating Opportunities for Economically Disadvantaged Producers
- Fair Trading Practices
- Payment of a Fair Price
- Ensuring No Child Labor and Forced Labor
- Commitment to Non Discrimination
- Gender Equity and Women’s Economic Empowerment
- Ensuring Good Working Conditions
- Providing Capacity Building
- Promoting Fair Trade
- Respect for the Environment
WHAT CAN I DO AS A COFFEE CONSUMER TO SUPPORT FAIR TRADE?
- Demand Transparency. Ask questions at your favorite cafe. Are they taking it farther than simply buying or selling “fair trade” coffee and using popular marketing jargon? What is their connection to the full story and to the farmers? For example: a customer recently wrote us about a coffee company who was using a “social responsibility model” for their estate coffee. While their program looked great on the web, with further digging we saw that there was no mention of labor and wage conditions for the farmers on this coffee plantation. Because they did not talk about the labor conditions on their estate, it is impossible to know the conditions under which their coffee is picked, how many of their workers are migrant, and the wages the farmers receive. This is a BIG problem.
- Make sure your coffee is Organic too. Fair Trade is important, but an organic certification is also important to quality, equality and trade justice.
- Request Fair Trade coffee from your favorite local shop. Then you can support local AND support global Fair Trade.
- Continue learning about why Fair Trade is important. Spread the word. Tell your friends. Fair Trade is not just a passing fad.
Dean’s Beans approach to Fair Trade is to:
- Purchase directly from the co-ops, not through middlemen
- Purchase 100% certified organic coffee from cooperatives registered with the Fair Trade Labeling Organization
- Purchase at or above the international Fair Trade price
- Co-design and fund People-Centered Development projects with each of our coffee cooperative partners
- Pre-finance bean purchases whenever financially feasible
- Commit to an independent, 3rd party, public audit of our Fair Trade practices
- Foster long-term relationships with farmers AND customers!
Drink Deep and Enjoy!
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