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Green Mountain Coffee Nantucket Blend is Now Fair Trade Certified

We're committed to creating a higher quality of life for our coffee communities all over the world, and a better cup of coffee for you. That's why we're excited to announce that one of our best-selling and most loved coffees, Green Mountain Coffee® Nantucket Blend®, is now one hundred percent Fair Trade Certified™!

That’s right. One hundred percent fair trade!

This means approximately five million pounds of our coffee will switch to being fair trade this fiscal year alone!  That's almost $1 million in fair trade social premiums that go back to the farmers each year.  Named the world’s largest purchaser of Fair Trade coffees in 2010 and 2011, this is just another step in toward our commitment to support fair trade - and other opportunity to share the great quality and familiar tastes that a conversion of such a beloved coffee can do for fans!

Take part in our quest to do good and pop in a Fair Trade Nantucket Blend K-Cup® in your Keurig® brewer.  Brew a Better Day™!

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Welcome to Honduras - Honduran Coffee Coop Visit

Jose Danilo with a bunch of Lenca school kids, who are children of farmers

Jose Danilo with a bunch of Lenca school kids, who are children of farmers

You might think of Honduras as the country next to Nicaragua in Central America or where the great diving on Roatan Island is. But it is also the 8th largest grower of coffee in the world and grows more coffee than Guatemala. 

Honduras is one of our larger suppliers of Fair Trade Organic coffee and we were long overdue for a visit to see some of our suppliers down there. Last week we hosted 6 different coops for 2 days of cupping, meetings, plant tours, some tourism, and plenty of good food. 

One of the guests named Jose Danilo Mejia is the president of CARSBIL. His coop is based in the department of Intibuca, and the offices are in “The City of Hope” (Ciudad de la Esperanza). When I picked them up at the hotel, he and I hit it right off as he heard that I raise animals and do a lot of gardening. He was impressed, though he might be less impressed if he saw how non-profit my small farm in Vermont is. 

It turns out Jose Danilo is Lenca, a sub category of the Mayan races that populated (and still do) Mesoamerica. It’s amazing how many different indigenous groups there are who grow coffee that ends up in my cup of coffee. He shared a bunch of pictures from his community that I thought were very interesting:

He said that this school bus is actually run by the community for local transportation, where it’s mostly used by coffee farmers to get around. It was stuck in the mud… And in the second picture you can see why!

 

Last year they used their Fair Trade social premiums to build 14 kilometers of road to one of their remote communities. Here’s an example of an improved road in the third picture. 

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Announcing the new Keurig® Vue™ Brewer

You may have heard, but today it was announced that the line of Keurig® Single Cup Brewers is expanding with the addition of the Keurig® Vue brewer, a premium new platform designed with the ability to brew stronger, brew bigger, and brew hotter.

 

The new Vue brewer, paired with new Vue packs*, comes with all the ease and convenience of the existing Keurig® K-Cup® system with added customizable features so you have control over the strength, size, and temperature of your coffee, tea, hot cocoa, and iced beverages, as well as new frothy café beverages.

 The new Keurig Vue Brewer

Pretty nice, right?

 

To say the least, I can't wait for the Keurig® Vue™ Brewer to be available for purchase in the coming weeks.  It has a lot of options that I’ve been dreaming about in a single cup coffee maker:

 

  • Stronger Coffee: The Vue brewer adjusts water pressure, timing, and airflow so I can have the stronger brew I love in the mornings – at any size.
  • Bigger Coffee:  I can now brew into my large, stainless steel travel mug with new Vue packs specially formulated to brew a bigger cup up to 18-oz.  I’m ready to fill my travel mug with a strong cup of my favorite Green Mountain Coffee® variety, Breakfast Blend.
  • Hotter Beverages: Now, we can choose a temperature range between 187 and 197 degrees Fahrenheit to really customize our cups.  My wife Natasha enjoys drinking Celestial Seasonings Green Tea and always likes the water to be extra hot to let the tea seep. It’s like the designers had her in mind when they created the new Keurig® Vue™ Brewer!
  • And much more:  A few Sundays back, I was enjoying some Dark Magic Extra Bold with Natasha with a plate full of crêpes (I like to think I am an expert at making crêpes).  We decided to add some homemade whipped cream to the coffee and crêpes – just to mix things up. Suddenly, Natasha looked at me and said, “Wouldn’t it be great if our Keurig® brewer could make a cappuccino?” Good news: The Vue™ brewer can!  With exclusive two-step Barista Prima® Café beverages, I can now enjoy a cappuccino on the weekend when I am eating my crêpes with the family.

 

The Keurig® K-Cup® Brewer and the Keurig® Vue™ Brewer complement each other so well!  Deliciously simple and brewing what I like, the way I like it – what a pair!

 

*Just a reminder: The Keurig® Vue™ Brewer is not compatible with K-Cup® packs; they use Vue™ packs.

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Protecting Water and Land: Environmental Benefits of Fair Trade

This Fair Trade Month we've talked a lot about the benefits that go to farmers who are Fair Trade

Fair Trade Farmers gathering to receive bush cutter

Certified. Another aspect of Fair Trade though are the environmental criteria that cooperatives must adhere to in order to be certified. Farmer's must identify conservation areas, specifically around water bodies and key watershed areas to protect against erosion and water contamination. Any hazardous waste must be handled and disposed of in a sustainable way; they need to protect soil and water ways to preserve soil integrity, water quality and food safety.

Another important environmental benefit of Fair Trade is that it requires farmers to reduce their use of agrochemicals. They are only to use agrochemicals when absolutely necessary and cannot spray over conserved, residential or

Ceremony for Fair Trade Premium Purchase

water sources. There are also specific agrochemicals that are prohibited.

Because of these environmental standards, alternative methods are used to remove unwanted and or invasive plants within coffee farms. These photos are of farmers in Sumatra, Indonesia receiving brush cutters, purchased with fair trade premiums. These will help farmers keep  weeds at bay while using less agrochemicals.

Farmer Receiving Bush Cutter

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Ask the Coffee Lab: Fair Trade Prices

Ask the Coffee Lab is back and ready to answer your caffeinated questions.  If you haven’t heard, October is Fair Trade Month!

With the Fair Trade theme in mind, the Coffee Lab decided to tackle a question asked by Tom on another Fair Trade entry:

“Do you sometimes pay above the Fair Trade prices for exceptional coffee?”


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We often get this question and realize that in our enthusiasm for explaining all the benefits to farmers, we sometimes forget to explain some of the mechanics of the trade part of Fair Trade. So, here we go:

Basically: Yes, we do all the time! When we have a cooperative consistently meets their quality targets, delivery times, and amount of coffee delivered, they often ask for more money because they know they deserve it and we usually agree with them.

But the full answer is a little more detailed.

First, the Fairtrade Labeling Organization (FLO) is the standards and certification body for the worldwide Fair Trade movement. One of the things they do is establish the Fair Trade minimum prices (prices that a buyer is not allowed to go below). The minimum price per pound for unroasted (green) conventional Fair Trade is $1.35 (1.25 base plus the .10 social premium). If it's certified Organic coffee, there's a .20 cent premium per pound on top of that (for a total of $1.55).

Then it’s our turn.  We write contracts with our farmer partners that say we will pay $x.xx above the FLO minimum OR the "C" price - which is the daily price for exchange-grade green coffee traded on the Intercontinental Exchange. The industry uses that “C” price as the basis for pricing all other coffees. The amount we will pay above either minimum price we call a differential. Sometimes the minimums are called floors - meaning the starting point for negotiating prices. Just about all of our certified Fair Trade and Organic coffee is bought using differentials.

Let's take a real life example. There are some Fair Trade Organic coffees we buy at a differential of .40 cents per pound. That contract will say - we agree to pay .40 cents above either the FLO minimum OR the "C" Price, and the buyers fix (fixing means deciding on a price for the sale of the coffee.). One of the rules of Fair Trade is that the producer group gets to "fix." Generally, most coffee outside of Fair Trade is bought at "Sellers' Fix" - meaning the buyer gets to decide when we want to price the coffee.

In Fair Trade, it's up to the producer group when they fix, which is good for them. They watch the commodities market (the "C" price), and try to figure out the best time and price to get the best deal for their coffee. Yesterday the C price was $1.75, which is way above the FLO minimums. If that group with the .40 cent differential decided to fix at $1.75, they would get $1.75 plus .40 cents for a total of $2.15, which is way above $1.25 or $1.55.

That's just one scenario. When demand for the good coffee exceeds supply, the price goes up. We find that pricing in Colombia can change often because of lower harvests yields and difficulties from climate change. That includes Fair Trade coffees from Colombia.

Lastly, some of the nicest coffees we carry, like Fair Trade Organic Ethiopian Yirgachaffe, command a higher price because they are just so delicious.  Don't you think?

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Brewing A Better World with Fair Trade

Fair Trade is not only an important business focus for Green Mountain Coffee, but it’s also a topic of which many of our employees and coffee fans are passionate.  May it be at home, at the grocery store, or in the office, Fair Trade is never far from our minds. But we know that not everyone is as aware of the Fair Trade movement as we are, so we wanted to give you an idea of what choosing Fair Trade coffee means – for the farmer and yourself.



Like oil or cotton, coffee is a commodity... and world prices fluctuate wildly. Coffee farmers never know how much they'll be paid for their beans. Sometimes they don't even get enough to pay for the cost of growing them.


Fair Trade certification provides farmers a fair price for their beans with a guaranteed minimum, which means they can invest in their crops, their communities, and their future.

But let’s not forget: Fair Trade also creates some of the best coffee in the world.  With Fair Trade premiums in hand, farmers can afford to follow time-honored traditions to produce the finest beans, which allows you to enjoy one of the finest cups of coffee available.

We’re passionate about Fair Trade coffee not only for the reasons above, but also because of how simple it is to have an impact by choosing to purchase Fair Trade.  As you may have heard us say before, we realized that good coffee could be good for the world – and we hope you will, too.

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Ask the Coffee Lab: How does Fair Trade Taste

Before World Fair Trade Day, we thought it would be important to answer a question we hear in hushed tones when we talk about Fair Trade coffee:

"Does Fair Trade coffee taste okay?"


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Ours does!

Lindsey Bolger, Director of Coffee Sourcing and Relationships for the Specialty Coffee Business Unit of Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc. (who is also my boss), said it herself:

“Converting two of our most popular products to Fair Trade Certified is one way we can help small-scale coffee farmers invest in the quality of their coffee and the quality of life in their communities.  It also means we can continue to deliver high quality, sustainably-sourced coffees to consumers.”

High quality.

If a farmer knows he or she can get a good price for their coffee, if they know someone will buy it and take good care of it, then they’ll put more time and energy and care into their coffee. Provided that coffee has a good starting point (the right climate, soil, conditions and altitude, the right farmer and all the other things that affect coffee)….

We pay more for Fair Trade certified coffee because of the price minimums and the social premium, but also because of the quality. We buy the good stuff because you the customer expect us to (and you pay for it). It’s costs more, but people vote with their pocketbooks and they’ve been voting the Fair Trade direction.

Without revealing too much about how we do business, I’ll show you one of our charts. We keep track of the sensory scores of every single coffee we buy and then we put it in a database.  I won’t tell you the scores, but the bars in blue are average scores of the different origins and families of coffee we buy. Column #4 is the average scores for some of our best FTOs and Single Origin coffees. In other words, Fair Trade coffees are some of the best we offer.

If you don’t believe me, then try some of our Fair Trade Organic Ethiopian Yirgacheffe.

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Welcome Timothy’s World Coffee


We at Green Mountain Coffee are proud to welcome our sister brand from the north - Timothy’s World Coffee® - to their new U.S.* online shopping home: Timothys.com.

Beginning this May, Timothy's will launch a total of 26 varieties of premium coffees in K-Cup® portion packs, regular, decaf, and flavored coffees ranging from mild to dark in roast profile.  For the first time ever, they'll also offer a variety pack of coffees and teas, so you can get a taste for what Timothy’s has to offer. It’s most exciting that !BAM! we have three of renowned chef Emeril Lagasse’s Emeril’s® K-Cup coffees in the mix as well!

Like Green Mountain Coffee, Timothy's is an industry pioneer in supporting socially and environmentally responsible coffee programs, producing coffee that helps preserve the environment and sustain the livelihood of coffee farmers and laborers. To that end, Timothy’s supports Fair Trade, participates in the Rainforest Alliance certification program, and partners with the Organic Crop Improvement Association (OCIA).

If you don’t already know and enjoy Timothy’s coffees, stop by their site and say, "Hi" for us!.

*Purchasing K-Cups from our U.S. website can lead to longer shipping times than desired, import duties and taxes/fees for Canadian customers. To save on shipping fees and shipping times, we strongly recommend you shop at their Canadian site, Timothys.ca. The Canadian site currently offers "Free Shipping on orders over CAD$63".

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Guest Post: Fair Trade In Rwanda By TransFair USA

Katie Barrow, PR Manager at TransFair USA (the third-party certifier of Fair Trade products in the United States), recently traveled to Rwanda to meet the Fair Trade coffee farmers who produced the beans for our Fair Trade Spring Revival Blend™. There she witnessed firsthand the hope and pride that Fair Trade has brought to the people of this tiny country, especially the women.  Here’s her story:

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I’m so excited to be a part of Green Mountain’s World Fair Trade week!  If you’ve been following this wonderful blog, then you’ve probably already read several stories about the positive impact that Fair Trade has on the lives of coffee farmers.  You may have heard stories of cooperatives that have used Fair Trade premiums to provide entire communities with access to clean water or electricity for the first time.  There are also the stories of medical clinics built, new roads paved and scholarships funded.  But the Fair Trade story that has excited me the most during time at TransFair USA is the story of the Hinga Kawa Women’s Association (part of the Abakunda Kawa cooperative) - a group of women who came together as a community to sell their coffee directly to U.S. buyers, including Green Mountain Coffee for the Fair Trade Spring Revival Blend.

So this year I decided to take a vacation to visit these beautiful women in the far-away hills of Rwanda.  I’ll spare you the details of my entire journey through East Africa (though the 30-mile walking safari we took through remote mountain villages in Uganda was unforgettable).  Instead, I will just focus on one day - the day we spent with Hinga Kawa.  It was one of the most humbling and joyful days of my life thus far.

At this point, my travel buddy Jenna and I had been in Africa for a little over a week.  One thing we were already used to was getting up early so that all of the day’s activities could be accomplished before the afternoon rains came. This morning was a little different; it had been raining all morning.  Christine picked us up at our hotel in Kigali in a rugged SUV at 8am sharp, and we began the drive to Gakenke.  What an experience that was!  The road started off paved in Kigali, but soon pavement gave way to a rocky dirt path (hard to call it a road!) that we followed for another two hours, winding through small villages and farms.  When we arrived at the cooperative, we met Ernest, the manager of Abakunda Kawa.  He proudly showed us the coffee washing station and coffee beans from the last harvest.  And he was equally proud to show off the cooperative’s new copy machine, purchased with Fair Trade premiums.

The members of Hinga Kawa began to arrive one by one at the cooperative office.  The president of the group introduced herself to me and explained “the rain this morning made the women late.”  When you depend on the sun as your alarm clock, an odd rainy morning would cause delays!  Finally, all of the women had arrived, and they filed into the coffee storehouse for their monthly meeting.  That’s when I found out that I was to be a guest speaker!

Because of translation issues (Christine translated to Kinyarwanda), I kept my message short.  I told them that my job at TransFair USA is to listen to their stories, document their lives, and share this information with the world.  Americans love their daily cup of coffee, but it is very rare that we stop and think about where it came from: Who grew the beans and what were the unthinkable challenges associated with this seemingly ordinary act?

They received this message well.  They thanked me, and then the secretary of the group stood up to share her story on behalf of her colleagues:

“Our lives are not easy,” she began. “We wake up very early with the sun, strap our babies to our backs and head to the field where we tend to the coffee.  We then make sure that our older children get to school on time, and we begin searching for food to prepare for lunch.  In addition to gathering food, we must also find wood for a fire.  Because food is scarce and not easy to prepare, lunch is generally the only meal we eat all day.  After lunch, we return to the fields and tend to the coffee until the sunset.  At night we take care of the children, and after they fall asleep we work on applications for scholarships to help pay for their education.  Then we start all over again the next morning.”

“Many of us are widows or orphans [because of the genocide], and those who are married are still responsible for all of the work at home and in the coffee fields because our husbands spend the days in the villages trying to earn money.  This is why we formed Hinga Kawa; it is a way for us to sell the coffee that we grew.  It allows us to take pride in our work, and it is also a support network.  It is a time for us to come together and talk about our hardships with other women who have experienced the same challenges.  And it is a time for us to sing and dance… and laugh.  For many women, this meeting might be the only time they’ve smiled all day.”


And with that, the women began to clap as they sang a beautiful song.  This song wasn’t beautiful because all of their voices were on key, or because it was accompanied by interesting instruments.  It was beautiful because of the way that the women were able to let go of all their worries and just pour all of their energy into the song.  And then they began to dance!  As they danced, the women approached me one by one to hug me and thank me for visiting them.  Tears poured down my face.  I had never experienced anything so sincere and passionate.  I could go on and on about this part of the meeting, but this video I recorded really says it best:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pi6gOI7E3x0

At that moment, I realized that all of the work I’ve been doing at TransFair USA for the past year-and-a-half has been for these women:  women who work so hard every day just to feed their families, to grow their coffee sustainably (100% organic) and to simply survive.  Fair Trade has not made them rich.  Not even close.  But it has given them enough additional income to pay for their eldest child to go to school and still have money left over to feed their other children.  With our help and the continued sales of Rwandan Fair Trade Certified coffee, these women will soon be able to pay for all of their children to go to school… through Fair Trade, not aid.

I promised these women that I would share their story with you.  I also promised them that I would help sell more Rwandan Fair Trade Certified coffee.  All you have to do is order a bag of Green Mountain Coffee’s Fair Trade Spring Revival Blend.  Trust me, it would mean so much to the women of Hinga Kawa if you did.

You can see more pictures from my day with Hinga Kawa right here.

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Fair Trade….Far out in Mexico

Each year, groups of Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc (GMCR) employees get the opportunity to travel to the very beginning of our coffee supply train: They travel to Source.  Susanne, one of our lovely Green Mountain Coffee marketers, offered to share her experience this past March as she ventured to coffee cooperatives in Mexico.  This is her story:

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I recently returned from a Mexican source trip sponsored by Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc.

A source trip is a unique opportunity for a select group of GMCR employees to visit several remote coffee farms and cooperatives to better understand their coffee growing practices. Since I spend each day sitting in my “Vermont” office trying to “Market” coffee, it seemed only fitting that I was chosen to better understand the true value of specialty coffee by actually visiting its source!

While traveling throughout Mexico, one of my favorite coffee growing regions that I visited was the Chiapas region. I quickly became educated on Fair Trade coffee practices. I also learned the art of patience, humility and harmony with nature.

Here is excerpt from my journal:

"After a five hour van ride from Tuxtla, I was ready for a sitz bath, foot massage and tequila shot! Instead, my colleagues and I hopped in the back of a pick up and set off on a 2 hour ride straight up the mountain. Holding on for dear life, we gasped our way to the top of a cloud-filled rainforest where coffee beans sunned themselves on the edge of the El Triunfo Biosphere Reserve, one of the most important nature reserves in the world because of its size and biodiversity. Home to over 400 different species of birds, this area also grows some of the finest Fair Trade Organic coffee.

I strolled over to the concrete patios where rows of coffee beans sat baking in the sun. I bravely peeked over the mountain’s edge to view the steep terrain. (It reminded me of the double black diamond ski trail I begrudgingly tackled the week before with my 8 year old son!) There, below me, I saw several farmers handpicking select red coffee cherries from the lush green bush they clung to. Excited to give it a try, I managed to pick a couple handful of cherries in approximately 30 minutes - a mere portion of what the farmer next to me was able to pick. I concluded I was not going to be offered a new job anytime soon!

After picking, sorting, washing, fermenting, processing, and drying (I might have forgotten a verb or two) the coffee beans and I made our perilous way back down the mountain. I couldn’t help but think that both the coffee and I (now close friends) were a long way from our final destinations.”


As I sit back down at my desk in Vermont, I ponder this moment in time. I now have a better understanding of the micro-climates that create high quality coffees. I have seen how farmers can co-exist with the environment and how buyers like GMCR can establish long-term relationships and stability with coffee growers through contracts and Fair Trade premiums. It gives me a real appreciation for the company’s purpose:

“We create the ultimate coffee experience in every life we touch from tree to cup – transforming the way the world understands business”.

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Concrete Fair Trade Social Premiums

Take a 9,000 farmer member coffee co-op in Sumatra , mix in a Fair Trade Certified™ social premium, and the pay-off for producing Fair Trade coffee adds up really fast. At KBQB in Aceh, Sumatra in Indonesia it's to the tune of 5,132,160,000 Indonesian Rupiahs in one year, (about $570,000 USD). We visited the KBQB Koperasi Baitul Quiradh Baburrayyan Cooperative this past March and got to see up close and personal what the benefits of Fair Trade coffee are.

The name KBQB is Arabic – Koperasi: cooperative , Baitul: house , Quiradh: capital , as in money , Baburrayyan: door to heaven . Loosely translated, it means “ getting to heaven through the wealth of our children.”

We were very privileged to see some of the 123 different projects that social premiums can bring.  Some were modest and hand written and some much more involved. The biggest project was the purchase of land near their mill to build a massive office, laboratory facility, as well as dormitories.   Enjoy:

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To support these kinds of investments all over the world, buy Fair Trade coffee. To support these kinds of investments in Sumatra, try our Fair Trade Organic Sumatran Reserve.

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Hope for the Future in Fair Trade

Fair Trade Month Quiz:


Question 15: How many Fair Trade Certified™ varieties of coffee does Green Mountain Coffee sell?


Answer: 41


 


Haven’t answered our Fair Trade Quiz question of the day, yet?  Well, why not?  The answer’s right there!  If that isn’t enough for you, the first 100 participants* get a sample of Green Mountain Coffee’s Fair Trade Certified™ Organic House Blend and all answers get entered to the grand prize drawing of 12-months of Green Mountain Coffee Fair Trade Certified™ Coffees.  Go here to enter: http://www.eatdrinkandbefair.com/quiz.php


 


*Sorry, employees and their immediate family members of Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc. are not eligible. But keep an eye out for our internal Fair Trade quiz. 


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With 41 delicious Fair Trade coffees, is it any surprise that we have a story for each of them? Allow me to introduce you to the origins of one our Fair Trade Single Origin coffees: Sumatra Lake Tawar. 

Fauziah, 30-year-old Sumatran coffee farmerIndonesian coffees are prized for their complexity. The unusual processing techniques used by the farmers create a distinctive coffee experience; a mosaic of heady aromas and pungent flavors that tumbles around in the mouth.

We began working with farmers from the areas near Lake Tawar in 1997, when we provided start up money to create an organic coffee cooperative.  Since then, we’ve helped the cooperative build a community center, a water supply system, and a seedling nursery. In the wake of the 2004 tsunami-earthquake, many of our employees donated money for disaster relief, and the company matched their donations.

Today, the cooperative is thriving. With the premium received from Fair Trade prices, the community has been able to build new roads, schools, and a clean water supply.

Lindsey Bolger, our Director of Coffee Sourcing and Relationships, recently visited the Lake Tawar region to meet with farmers who contribute to our Fair Trade Certified™ Sumatran coffees. She was introduced to Fauziah, a 30-year-old farmer who was looking forward to a brighter future.

“Now that we’ve joined a Fair Trade Certified co-op,” she told Lindsey, “we know that there will be funds available to help us improve quality and yields.”

Single Origin Sumatran Lake Tawar has a syrupy body with notes of clove and cardamom. Independent coffee critic Kenneth Davids gave it 85 points in August 2009.

-Laura

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Conversations with Fair Trade Peruvian Farmers

Fair Trade Month Quiz:


Question 13: What country is the leading origin of Fair Trade coffee?


Answer: Peru


 

 Haven’t answered our Fair Trade Quiz question of the day, yet?  Well, why not?  The answer’s right there!  If that isn’t enough for you, the first 100 participants* get a sample of Green Mountain Coffee’s Fair Trade Certified™ Organic House Blend and all answers get entered to the grand prize drawing of 12-months of Green Mountain Coffee Fair Trade Certified™ Coffees.  Go here to enter: http://www.eatdrinkandbefair.com/quiz.php


*Sorry, employees and their immediate family members of Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc. are not eligible. But keep an eye out for our internal Fair Trade quiz. 

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Ed Canty, one of Green Mountain Coffee’s green bean buyers, was in Northern Peru two summers ago, long with our good friends from Sustainable Harvest, to visit some of our Fair Trade Organic co-ops.  While there, Ed recorded a few interviews asking farmers:

“What does Fair Trade mean to you?”  

Here are links to two of these interviews, with written translation below each video link:

Interview with Heine Dávilla Ruíz. President and farmer at APAVAM in Northern Peru

Translation: I am a producer of APAVAM.  I have been participating in being certified Fair Trade.  I have been selling Fair Trade for two years.  During these two years, what we can obtain from producing Fair Trade is - we can improve our parcels, we are improving our infrastructure, improving the condition of our lives, our families.  We believe that this market has reached those of the poorest class.  And I thank every one in the Fair Trade family for this great opportunity.

Find APAVAM’s Location on Google Maps.

Interview with Luis Fernando Peña, General Manager of APROCASSI in Northern Peru


Translation: Fair Trade has contributed in three fundamental aspects of development of our organizations:  in the aspect of social development, in the aspect of identity, and in the fundamental aspect that is the sustainability of the business.  With Fair Trade this premium, or increase of prices for the quality of the coffee that the producer has it is possible for all the organizations to be sustainable in the long term.  We hope that Fair Trade has more fluid communication between organizations, buyers and roasters to bring us long term development because it benefits the family.  It is Fair Trade that allows families to get the most from their land.

Find APROCASSI location on Google Maps.

-Winston

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Day 2 in Kenya - waking up to Zebras, Hippos and Fair Trade Roses

Rick Peyser, Director of Social Advocacy and Coffee Community Outreach (we like long titles here at Green Mountain Coffee) is currently in Kenya. As posted in yesterday's on the road blog post, Rick is in Kenya for the Fair Trade Labeling Organization's (FLO) Board of Directors Meeting.

His update for today:

"This morning I woke up early to join other FLO board members before dawn, to visit some hippo's just walking distance from our hotel last night. Along the way we saw

Zebra at dawn - Lake Naivasha, Kenya

 herds of water buck, zebras, and giraffes (including two babies).

 

After breakfast we drove to visit fair trade flower producers near Lake Naivasha, about a 2 hour drive from Nairobi. It is a huge operation with 5,000 flower growers - all producing fair trade flowers (mostly roses and carnations) that are shipped primaily to Europe for sale. The flowers are

very beautiful, and are carefully packaged to maintain their shelf-life.

Roses fair trade flower producers near Lake Naivasha, about a 2 hour drive from Nairobi

The miles of greenhouses use geothermal energy, generated by a 2.5 MW power plant. The company (Oserian, part of the Mavuno Flower Network) also supports a wildlife sanctuary that is home to a number of rhinos, three of which have been born this year.

We just visited a primary and secondary school that the Fair Trade premium paid for. Four hundred students are now attending the school, with some continuing on to

the university system.

As always the children were great to spend time with. They got a kick out of seeing a group of people (FLO Board members) from around the world.

Fair Trade roses from Oserian, Lake Naivasha, Kenya

It has been very interesting to learn more about how Fair Trade is making a significant difference in this part of the world, even outside of our world of coffee."

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Fair Trade Provides Hope for the Future

Indonesian coffees are prized for their complexity. The unusual processing techniques used by the farmers create a distinctive coffee experience; a mosaic of heady aromas and pungent flavors that tumbles around in the mouth.

We began working with farmers from the areas near Lake Tawar in 1997, when we provided start up money to create an organic coffee cooperative.  Since then, we've helped the cooperative build a community center, a water supply system, and a seedling nursery. In the wake of the 2004 tsunami-earthquake, many of our employees donated money for disaster relief, and the company matched their donations.

Today, the cooperative is thriving. With the premium received from Fair Trade prices, the community has been able to build new roads, schools, and a clean water supply.

Lindsey Bolger, our Director of Coffee Sourcing and Relationships, recently visited the Lake Tawar region to meet with farmers who contribute to our Fair Trade Certified™ Sumatran coffees. She was introduced to Fauziah, a 30-year-old farmer who was looking forward to a brighter future.

"Now that we've joined a Fair Trade Certified co-op," she told Lindsey, "we know that there will be funds available to help us improve quality and yields."

Single Origin Sumatran Lake Tawar has a syrupy body with notes of clove and cardamom. Independent coffee critic Kenneth Davids gave it 89 points in October, 2007.

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Interviews with Fair Trade Farmers in Peru

Ed Canty, one of Green Mountain Coffee's green bean buyers, was in Northern Peru last summer,  along with our good friends from Sustainable Harvest, to visit some of our Fair Trade Organic suppliers.  While there, Ed recorded a few interviews asking farmers - What does Fair Trade mean to you?  Here are links to two of these interviews.  (The videos are in Spanish, so we're providing written translation below each video link):

FT Interview with Heine Dávilla Ruíz. President and farmer at APAVAM in Northern Peru

Interview with Fair Trade Farmer in Peru - Heine Dávilla Ruíz

Translation:

I am a producer of APAVAM.  I have been participating in being certified Fair Trade.  I have been selling Fair Trade for two years.  During these two years, what we can obtain from producing Fair Trade is - we can improve our parcels, we are improving our infrastructure, improving the condition of our lives, our families.  We believe that this market has reached those of the poorest class.  And I thank every one in the Fair Trade family for this great opportunity.

Link to APAVAM’s Location on Google Maps:

 

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FT Interview with Luis Fernando Peña, General Manager of APROCASSI in Northern Peru

Interview with Luis Fernando Peña of APROCASSI 

Translation:

Fair Trade has contributed in three fundamental aspects of development of our organizations:  in the aspect of social development, in the aspect of identity, and in the fundamental aspect that is the sustainability of the business.  With Fair Trade this premium, or increase of prices for the quality of the coffee that the producer has it is possible for all the organizations to be sustainable in the long term.  We hope that Fair Trade has more fluid communication between organizations, buyers and roasters to bring us long term development because it benefits the family.  It is Fair Trade that allows families to get the most from their land.

Link to APROCASSI location on Google Maps:

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Fair Trade: Making a difference in the heart of an Incan empire

Concepcion TunquiConcepcion Tunqui's day begins at 3 am. She gathers firewood to cook her breakfast, then joins other members of her coffee cooperative on their organic farm in the southern highlands of Peru. Around 11, she'll stop to cook a communal meal for the workers. She'll clean up, then return to her chacra (land parcel) to hand pick the reddest, ripest coffee cherries until the sun sinks behind the towering Andean peaks that surround her. She is 57 years old, and she has done this all her life.

Until recently, Concepcion barely made enough money to get by. Fair Trade has changed that. With Fair Trade, these farmers are guaranteed a fair price for their harvest. Now they can afford to eat chicken on occasion, visit a doctor when they're sick, and keep their kids in school. Fair Trade premiums have also allowed them to improve their drying patios, and the overall quality of their coffee.

"We only live off coffee," Concepcion says in her native Quechua language. "This year has been the first year of change. My farm has improved, and my house has improved."Matilde

Nearby, another member of the cooperative agrees. "We have so much hope in coffee," says Matilde Quispe de Quispe. "Finally, we're able to receive decent prices and our children are able to eat."

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