Fair Trade Coffee

Javamom

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May 19, 2005
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SW Florida
Anyone using Fair Trade Coffee? Do you and your customers like it? Why?

Is Fair Trade always organic?

Are their any great Colombian or Dominican Fair Trade beans out there?

Thanks

M
 
We sell a lot of Fair Trade (tm) coffee and it tastes as good as the coffee. Certification doesn't taste like anything.

Yesterday i was in Costco or Sam's Club, forget which and I saw Fair Trade (tm) certified coffee for $4.70 a pound. I didn't buy 3 lbs of it to find out how it tastes, but my bet is that it isn't as good as some conventional specialty coffee.

The people who tend to like FT for FT are often students, some labor activists, church goers (Equal Exchange has a very big faith based marketing and sales program).
 

cafemakers

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Nov 3, 2004
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javahill said:
Yesterday i was in Costco or Sam's Club, forget which and I saw Fair Trade (tm) certified coffee for $4.70 a pound. I didn't buy 3 lbs of it to find out how it tastes, but my bet is that it isn't as good as some conventional specialty coffee.

...it probably tasted okay the first month after it was roasted; after that, it was all downhill. :wink:
 
I would not bet that it tasted very good even fresh. I've had some unpleasant Fair Trade certified coffee. Also, some of the best FT coffee I've had has been certified (The Roasterie Espresso Blend - wow). It is a certification of an economic relationship. It has little to do with the taste of the coffee.
 
OP
J

Javamom

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Thanks for the replies.
I am not really seeking it out as a taste standpoint.

What I mean is do you think you can sell a coffee that is higher priced because it is a Fiar Trade coffee?

Do you only sell Fair Trade? Or do you sell both?
Do you think customers would rather have a cup of joe that is Fair Trade?

I know some coffee companies practice Fair Trade and not certified.

Andrew those sites were a great help. It has got me thinking now. I am a slave to my coffee (seriously addicted) and others are a slave to retrieve it.
 

ElPugDiablo

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Jul 16, 2004
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Hartford and New Haven, CT
well, what it comes down to is you need to figure out why do people drink FT coffee only, and what percentage of total coffee drinking population is FT only. No offense, but if all you care about is FT as a marketing ploy, and if your competitor care about FT as well as taste, guess who will win?
 
If you can charge more for Fair Trade, go ahead. That depends on your customers.

In the research I've done with our customers (about 6000 of them) what matters more than fair trade is friendly customer service, time in line, and the taste of the coffee. And of course, location, location, location. Parking spaces, convenience. The basics.

There are over 350 FT certified roasters and thousands of locations that serve FT coffee.

FT reallly doesn't provide much differentiation unless you're first. And if you are doing well with it, you can expect your competition to clap on and copy you. It comes back to service, ambiance, taste and clean bathrooms. In terms of the price you charge, you're much better off thinking in terms of being the kind of place people want to be.

It has to fit with your store. Are you a place that already caters to students, etc.? Do you already connect with your community? Do you volunteer? Those coupled with FT can help improve the integrity of your position in the market.

Sorry, FT isn't a silver bullet at retail.
 
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J

Javamom

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There was a little cafe in Providence (coffee exchange) and they had the best coffee. They actually started a thing called coffee kids. (you can find it all online) Near Brown and RISD...college town.

That place had no parking, was dirty and all walks of life went through there (still do). But the coffee was excellent and the service fast.

I Think I would rather serve Fair Trade but wonder if people even appreciate it.

I have seen a couple of places that have Fair Trade coffee and the coffee is good and seem to be doing well.

But no one here using FT?
 

Juliann Castell

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Apr 25, 2006
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Fairtrade coffee -- try Bridgehead site

Re: Fairtrade. A woman here in Canada opened up a coffee house "Bridgehead" - it is competing with Starbucks and could be the NEXT big one. She has a great brand, market - only fairtrade and certified organic teas and coffees. She now has SEVEN in Ottawa, Canada - 1 in Montreal and is wanting to open (I hear) in Toronto. Way to go, I say. Google and find her website - I thinking it's bridgehead.com?

good luck
 
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Javamom

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so what coffee's that are fair trade are good?

I know what what I like for whole beans. Just wondering in anyone knows of a good brand of FT?

I do know of one place in the area that uses FT. They are pretty good, but are the only place in the area.

Thanks for all the input :)
 
If you go to coffeereview.com you can find professionally reviewed coffees and sort by both fair trade and organic. I've had good experiences with The Roasterie in St. Louis and Green Mountain Coffee from Vermont. Pura Vida is 100 percent FT, but I didn't think their coffee was that great (French Roast and Kilimanjaro Blend). Bucks Country in PA has some extraordinary FT coffee, too.
 
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