Cafe Campesino & Sweetwater Organic Coffee believe in Fair, Direct, Transparent trade relationships. We believe in cooperatives. (We are members of one.) We believe in a principled approach to Fair Trade, not a diluted version. We stand in solidtarity with the following organizations that have recently denounced Fair Trade USA/Transfair USA’s decision to depart from the existing Fair Trade system: Red Cafe – CLAC, Fair Trade Network of Asian Producers, Fair Trade Africa, Just Coffee, Higher Grounds Trading Co., United Students for Fair Trade, Fair World Project and Equal Exchange. (Read more about Latin American producers’ position on FTUSA’s move).
Where do we go from here?
-Keep Farmers first. This is an opportunity to re-focus Fair Trade back on the farmers- not the certification discussion or the consumer. This is an opportunity for farmers to get more out of the Fair Trade system and an opportunity for importers and roasters to challenge farmer organizations to start setting their own terms of trade. Fair Trade is meant to serve farmers.
- Continue working. We would rather spend time practicing Fair Trade principles and improving our system than talking about certification.
-Keep a watchful eye. Five years ago, Cafe Campesino withdrew as a Transfair USA licensee (we decided not to use the Transfair sticker), because we did not believe that it was okay to let companies who source only a small amount of Fair Trade products to present themselves as “Fair Trade Certified.” This summer, we joined 10,000 others in signing the Organic Consumers Association’s petition to stop Transfair USA from trademarking the term “Fair Trade USA.” Now, we’re speaking out against Fair Trade USA’s efforts to certify plantations, and we’re wondering what’s coming next.
-Remain Transparent. Along with more than 20 other roasters who are members of Cooperative Coffees, we are posting all of our purchasing contracts at the website, Fair Trade Proof. Find contracts for Cafe Campesino and Sweetwater Organic Coffee on that site, or email us with your questions, firstname.lastname@example.org