- the relations and interactions between coffee farmers, animals and other organisms, the environment and coffee consumers;
- the farming and processing of coffee beans in a socially responsible and ecologically sound manner;
- a coffee provider adhering to these principles :)
To effect positive change in some of the poorest regions in the world by promoting great coffees that are traded fairly and grown sustainably
We intentionally choose quality Arabica coffees from some of the poorest countries in the world. All of our coffees are fair-trade and organic certified. Many farmers in these regions need to sell their coffee at a fair price just to meet the basic necessities for their families.
Fair Trade coffee can help farmers escape poverty. Most small-scale family farmers live in remote locations and lack access to credit, so they are vulnerable to middlemen who offer cash for their coffee at a fraction of its value. Fair Trade guarantees farmers a minimum price, and links farmers directly with importers, creating long-term sustainability. Through Fair Trade, farmers earn better incomes, allowing them to hold on to their land and invest in quality. For more information, visit www.fairtrade.ca
Coffee is the most heavily sprayed food crop in the world. Organic coffee is coffee that has been produced without the use of any pesticides or herbicides. Non-organic coffees are typically higher yielding because they are generally grown in full sun rather than under the shaded canopy. Forests are routinely cut down in favour of coffee plantations.
Coffee is also one of the largest traded commodities in the world. One of the easiest things that a consumer can do in favour of the environment is to switch to organic (and preferably shade-grown) coffee. As with many organic choices, there are 2 main benefits; an immediate health benefit as your body takes in less toxins; and a broader environmental benefit as less chemicals are sprayed onto the ground, and less forests are leveled to create a monoculture crop of coffee.
Buying organic also has the effect of creating more demand for organic coffee which lowers the cost and raises standards of living for growers.
Shade Grown Coffee
Shade-grown coffees are grown in jungle environments. The coffee bushes are grown under a shade canopy is made up of a variety of trees and there are often companion plantings of tropical fruit trees. This means the plantations can support great local and migrating bird populations including Ontario songbirds whose numbers have been steadily decreasing.
Beyond the benefit that shade can provide to migratory birds, shade grown coffee has a much richer flavour. The shade has a similar effect on coffee as growing it at high altitudes. Both of these factors slow down the growth of the coffee cherry which results in the production of more sugars and natural chemicals responsible for the better taste.
Women in coffee-growing regions are traditionally oppressed, marginalized and very often abused or abandoned. They have no rights and no role in the communities except to bear children and provide for their husbands and families.
From Peru, comes a story of strength and empowerment that has given hope to women coffee growers around the world. In 2004, a brave group of Peruvian women proposed the idea of separating their coffee and selling it as a special commodity. A new coffee, Café Femenino, was born and is changing the role of women in rural coffee communities.
This Fair Trade and Organic certified coffee is grown, processed, and traded exclusively by women. The women are paid two cents over Fair Trade prices for their premium coffee and are using the additional funds to better their lives and those of their families. Café Femenino programs have spread to Mexico, Colombia, Guatemala, Brazil, Bolivia, Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic, and will continue to expand as the need for support of women in coffee-growing countries is great.
By supporting women coffee growers, we improve the quality of life in the entire community. These women take great pride in their production and we know that you will enjoy these unique coffees for their wonderful taste, as well as for the special story that underlies its production. Your purchase does make a difference. For more, visit www.cafefemenino.com
Further information about Café Femenino and a look at a Roasters trip to Peru to meet the women coffee farmers in “Strong Coffee – The Story of Café Femenino” can be found at www.strongcoffeefilm.com