All our coffee is externally verified as ethical.
Every packet of coffee we sell comes from Rainforest Alliance and/or Fairtrade certified farmers.
We believe this is the best way of making sure that growers and their families can benefit from a sustainable livelihood whilst protecting the environment in which they work and on which they depend. Whilst other “ethical” schemes claim to “protect the environment” or “give a proportion to good causes” these claims aren’t always clear – or transparent.
Fairtrade and Rainforest Alliance are, in our opinion, the very best certification schemes whose purpose is:
- To tackle poverty
- Conserve biodiversity
- Empower producers in developing countries
- Allow us to trace to source the coffee that we enjoy.
Why do we need external ethical verification?
Coffee is one of the world's most popular beverages, 80% of which is produced by 25 million smallholders. But many of them fail to earn a reliable living from coffee. They face many challenges, including poverty, commodity price fluctuations and increasingly erratic rainfall patterns. Added to that, the coffee supply chain is complex; beans pass hands through growers, traders, processors, exporters, roasters, retailers and finally the consumer. Most farmers have little idea of where their coffee goes or what price it ends up selling for. While the global coffee industry is valued at $100 billion annually, the vast majority of coffee farmers see meager earnings because they’re often paid so poorly for their beans. With few available options, many farmers end up either abandoning their land or destroying forests and wildlife habitat by clearing land for monoculture . By sourcing only Fairtrade and Rainforest Alliance coffee, we are doing our best to protect both the livelihoods of coffee producers and the environment in which coffee is grown.
What is Fairtrade?
Fairtrade began in response to the plight of Mexican coffee farmers following the collapse of world coffee prices in the late 1980s. Fairtrade is about better prices, decent working conditions and local sustainability. It addresses the injustices of conventional trade which traditionally discriminates against the poorest and weakest producers. Fairtrade is the internationally recognised gold standard. It’s how we make sure that we keep coffee growers and their families at the heart of what we do.
What is Rainforest Alliance?
The Rainforest Alliance is a growing network of people who are inspired and committed to working together to achieve the conservation of biodiversity and securement of sustainable livelihoods. Through creative, pragmatic collaboration, Rainforest Alliance aims to rebalance the planet by building strong forests and healthy communities around the world. Since 1995, the Rainforest Alliance has strengthened the position of coffee farmers by training them in methods that boost yields and safeguard the health of the land for future generations.
Why should I buy Fairtrade or Rainforest Alliance?
With Fairtrade, certified coffee producer organisations are guaranteed to receive at least the Fairtrade Minimum Price for their coffee, which covers the cost of production and provides a safety net when market prices fall below a sustainable level. Farmers also receive the additional Fairtrade Premium to invest in business or community improvements, at least 25% of which must be used to enhance productivity and quality. In 2011-12, certified coffee farmers earned an estimated £30 million in premiums that were invested in farmer services and community projects.
Smallholder farmers earning the Rainforest Alliance Certified seal must work to rigorous social, environmental and economic criteria designed to protect biodiversity, deliver financial benefits and foster a culture of respect for workers. The certification also promotes decent living and working conditions, gender equity and access to education. Achieving certification also helps farmers reach new markets, negotiate better prices, improve their access to credit and earn a premium on their beans that they can use to build a more economically secure future.
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