Beyond Fair TradeDecember 23, 2011
Grower’s First Foundation Advisor Glenn Parrish asked “Is Fair Good Enough?” in a recent Stanford Social Innovation Review article that reviewed the success of Fair Trade in lifting indigenous farmers out of poverty.
Crimson Cup started carrying Fair Trade organic coffees more than 10 years ago. We really liked the concept of improving the lives of coffee farmers by paying a small premium over market prices for specialty coffee. It’s a small price to pay for changing lives, and we believe Fair Trade has done a fair job.
As Glenn points out, however, there are now more transparent and better avenues for consumers to enact real change and have a direct relationship with the farmer when purchasing coffee. Technology holds the key.
On a recent trip to Honduras, we were amazed to find that the remote coffee growers we visited all had cell phones, even though they had limited resources and very few creature comforts. In July, one of our team members here at Crimson Cup Coffee & Tea visited indigenous coffee growers in Mexico and became Facebook friends with one of the farmers, who recently shared this video of his mother-in-law roasting coffee in a wok-like pan in their home.
With today’s technology, consumers can get to know the farmers who grow their coffee without traveling to coffee-producing countries. To help facilitate these relationships, Crimson Cup has developed our Friend2Farmer program. With Friend2Farmer, consumers can see exactly where their coffee comes from and learn about the farming families who grew it.
We invite you to try our Friend2Farmer coffees. Because the world’s best coffees taste even better when you know you’re changing lives with each cup.