Warehouse retailer Sam's Club will be converting its private-label Member's Mark Premium Ground coffee to be Fair Trade Certified.
It's a major move in support of fair trade practices that guarantee small-scale farmers a minimum price for their coffee, link farmers and suppliers directly and create the conditions for long-term sustainability. To be certified by TransFair USA, the only independent, third-party certifier of Fair Trade Certified products in the United States, farmers must meet international standards on environmentally sustainable practices, community investment and working conditions.
Member's Mark Premium Ground is a medium roast, Arabica coffee grown and hand harvested by 3,678 small-scale, independent farmers. After harvest, farmers sell their green coffee to democratically-run cooperatives for a set, guaranteed minimum price. The coffee is roasted and packaged by Cafe Bom Dia, a Brazilian company with four generations of experience in the coffee industry.
Sam's Club will also partner with Cafe Bom Dia and TransFair USA to offer a summer 2008 weeklong study grant opportunity for junior high and high school teachers interested in teaching about Fair Trade. Teachers can enter the national essay contest and apply to win one of 10 expenses-paid trips to visit Fair Trade cooperatives, farms and communities in Brazil next summer. For details, click here.
October is Fair Trade month.
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