Coffeemark and Fairly Traded & Organic coffees
Since opening our business back in 1999, Coffeemark has been committed to providing our customers with Fairly Traded, Organic and Shade Grown coffees. When we became involved back then, FairTrade Canada was a fledgling organization in Canada, but has grown in size and recognition over those 20+ years ! Coffeemark was committed back then and is still committed to providing the finest of fairly traded and organic coffees to the Ottawa/Outaouais region.
Why Fair Trade ?
Next to oil, coffee is the most traded commodity in the world. 80% of this coffee is grown by small scale farmers, many of whom struggle to earn a reliable living as a result of the volatility of the world market pricing. The effect of this volatility in pricing leads to many of these small scale farms being unable to provide a stable or liveable income for their families and the farms they work. This results in farmers resorting to the use of child labour, the lowering or not investing in farm capital, coffee fields and crops. The consequence of this produces even lower crop yields, poorer quality coffee and thereby exacerbating their financial situation.
Fairtrade International is a global, third party organization, that guarantees a minimum price for the coffee crops purchased from the farmer co-operatives. This minimum price acts as a safety net for the farmers against the volatility of the world market. Fairtrade certified coffees earns the farmers a premium of $ 1.40 per pound or $ 1.70 per pound for fairly traded and organic coffees. They also earn a 20 cents per pound Fairtrade premium of which 25% is invested in the production process of the coffee. The remainder is invested in projects that the co-operatives choose, ranging from processing facilities to healthcare and schools for the community.
How it Works
Under Fairtrade certification, farmers ( producers ), normally through democratically run co-operatives, must meet specific standards regarding labour practices, and environmental stewardship. To ensure that these standards are continually met, regular on site audits are performed by Flo-Cert, the independent certification body of Fairtrade International.
Companies that purchase coffee from Fairtrade certified producers are also required to adhere to strict standards and subjected to regular reporting procedures, along with on site audits. Companies must adhere to minimum pricing standards, provide advanced payment to the farmer co-operatives, and commit to long term purchasing agreements.
Companies certified to sell Fairly Traded coffees to consumers are also audited to ensure that the amount coffee sold as Fair Trade matches that which was purchased as Fairly Trade from the producers. These companies are required to open their books for on site independent third party audits on a regular bases.