Fair Trade Coffee

Hello Jon. Most larger roasting companies such as Gevelia do not have a very high percentage of their base beans free traded. The main reason for this is they buy such huge volumes of beans that they can not see the economics in paying a minimal of $1.26 per lb for green. You have to remember these guys are buying a hell of a lot of beans!!!! Even recognised Fair Trade companies such as Green Mountain do not buy all their beans through fair trade.... although in GM's case I believe they make a pretty effort to facilitate grower coops where they can. You couls always try and send Gevelia an email to confirm this.... I would not want to put you wrong! :grin:


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Oct 29, 2003
London, UK
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Contacting the company is definitely a good idea although you'll have to remember that any response will be crafted to put them in a good light. The more companies hear from people wanting fair prices all the way down the line to the people who grow the beans, the more likely they are to look at creative ways of moving in that direction.

Gevalia ain't FT certified. They have a Peruvian Organic, but that's it.

My boss used to be the brand manager at Gevalia, which is a subsidiary of Kraft (the Velveeta people). I know how big companies like that work - if they are going to spend more money for Fair Trade certified coffee, they are going to advertise it.

If you check out the Oxfam site, they keep pretty close tabs on the big coffee companies, including Kraft and their sub'y Gevalia.



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Jul 27, 2008
Everett, WA
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[quote:84b8ed6e8b=\"Jon\"]I''m trying to find out if Gevalia Coffee is Fair Trade Coffee. Could someone please let me know? Jon[/quote:84b8ed6e8b]

Hello Jon and everyone. I also googled the question \"is Gevalia coffee Fair Trade, and I was brought to this wonderful website. I''m four yeas late on my response but I hope it''s helpful. I, too, just canceled my Gevalia account. I''m a registered Green Party person which means that I''m questioning everything I consume. Following is a paragraph from the letter I received from Gevalia concerning Free Trade.
\"In order to change the overall green coffee sourcing system (commodity market), the total world market would have to change the way coffee is purchased. Since we do not see this happening in the near future, our focus is on supporting sustainable solutions that foster long-term, meaningful improvements to growing practices....\"

Translation: Nah, we don''t have to so we don''t care.
:twisted: :twisted:
That''s when I cancelled. (sigh)
Just got a great book I''d like to share. \"Javatrekker, Dispatches from the world of Fair Trade coffee,\" by Dean Cycon, founder and owner, Dean''s Beans Organic Coffee. I figure that he''s one dog we could run with and not get up with fleas. A pox on all corporate cutthroats passing for human!

Now, I will finish up the last of my Gevalia stash and hook up with a company that deserves my few dollars. Hope this has been helpful.
Beepath, a passionate reponse! I think when it comes to the big corporates you need to literally research just how seriously they are committed to the ideals of fairly traded, sustainabiity (socio as well as environmental). The smaller companies, like us, build our businesses around the relationship with growers. It often aint easy, but we dont give up because it is our passion as much as it is a business.

The big companies on the other hand are mostly corporates who have large boards or directors and shareholder to report to. Nestle, Kraft and a number of other mammoth coffee producers have their own internal coffee procurement systems that means they try and buy direct from farmers. However... having seen just excatly how this works where I am, I can say simply it does not work. The big Arabica buying roasters (not Nestle or Kraft who are still big robusta roasters) generally have only a piecemeal atitude to fairtrade. For example although most Sbux Customers (and many of their employees) believe the majority of Sbux coffee is Fair Trade, to date, only 6% of Sbux coffee is certified Fair Trade.Last I heard NONE of the coffee of the day options were fair trade, although that may have changed.

Actually companies like SBux have perhaps the best potential opportunity to convert a big proportion of their business to a form of audited relationship coffee. I like this better than fairtrade- the farmer gets directly a fairtrade price- but no fees have to be paid to the labeling organisations for rights to use their label etc. However, as aways, the question has to be asked... will they pay more for coffee??? I think not.

While the trade ethics of a smaller roaster are part and parcel of all of us everyday, most of us make only a living from the coffee business, not a fortune. I would have it no other way.


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Apr 5, 2007
Akron, Ohio
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I don't think it is fair to judge a roaster by fair trade certified or not, some of us don't believe in the fair trade sham. We do buy from the smallest and poorest farmers who actually offer high quality beans. We refuse to buy or offer fair trade coffee since they mostly come from large farmers and big business corporations. We are not fair trade but we support the small farms and pay top dollar, at least we know who is getting our money and how much. As a consumer I rather buy from a roaster that can guarantee and prove he supports small farmers and pays top dollar then some big corporation who lines the pockets of more big corporations in the name of supporting poor farmers.

roaster dave

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Aug 6, 2008
Guelph, Ontario
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essentialwonders said:
We refuse to buy or offer fair trade coffee since they mostly come from large farmers and big business corporations.

And where are you getting this information from exactly?? I've been involved in fair trade for nearly a decade and I can tell you that that statement is completely wrong and very misleading.