From: Carly Smolak, Triple Pundit, More from this Affiliate
Published October 16, 2009 08:33 AM

Supporting Fair Trade, One Latte at a Time

Coffee accounts for 80% of all Fair Trade certified products sold in the US, and with 40 million pounds of Fair Trade coffee purchases in 2009, Starbucks is by far the largest buyer of Fair Trade coffee on the planet. Starbucks' commitment to Fair Trade is commendable, and in fact seems exceptional, in a world where the vast majority of companies engage in less-than-ethical business practices. TransFair USA, the only third-party Fair Trade certifier in the US, calls the relationship between the non-profit and Starbucks "deeply transformational" to thousands of farmers and their communities.


Fair Trade ensures that farmers around the world receive a reasonable price for their products, which in turn helps producers to invest in their communities, pay for their children’s education, and become better stewards of the land. Not only are coffee growers getting a better price, coffee drinkers are getting a better cup of coffee. Today some of the highest quality coffees available are Fair Trade certified.

In honor of Fair Trade Month, TransFair USA CEO, Paul Rice, and Starbucks Senior Vice President of Coffee & Tea, Dub Hay, met on Monday to discuss the virtues of Fair Trade and how the relationship between the non-profit and the world’s most well known coffee slinger has grown in recent years. The discussion was broadcast live over the Internet, fielding questions submitted via Twitter, Facebook, and live chat.

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