Read "The Coffee Book, An Anatomy of an Industry"

tlhamzy

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May 30, 2004
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I highly recommend this book. It opened my eyes about what goes on at all levels of the business. This book is the reason I will not serve anything that is not Organic, Shade Grown, Fair Trade Certified in my shop. It's a growing trend, and highly profitable, I suggest you consider this. When I analysed the pricing, it wasn't much more expensive than the coffee grown with pesticides. They say the pesticides roast off, but it doesn't sound good to me. If we are going to start new businesses, and use this philosophy, we can help change the world. Think about it.! My mind is made up. And it's not hard to do.

Go to www.groundsforchange.com

they have a great wholesale program, and the service is excellent, the coffee is excellent too, which is what matters!

Altruistic in Sacramento
 

Blue Monkey

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Feb 6, 2005
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I am in the early stages of opening a shop in Ohio, and have been seriously considering Grounds for Change as my supplier. I have been corresponding with them extensively but havn't tasted their product yet. I also see the enormous sales potential of Fair trade certified coffee. After learning about the corruption in the coffee industry, I don't think I could sell or drink anything else. my location is at a major university and i am sandwiched in between two **bucks. The descision to go completely organic fair trade has given me the confidence to compete the biggest of the big and i feel i have a chance. Have you checked out any other Fair trade certified roasters? if so, do you feel G.F.C. is the best?
 

NW JAVA

New member
k. let's say I'm a small coffee roaster, I buy certified organic green beans from a certified warehouse/broker. Then what? I spray them with pesticide? Or how about I pay a few 1000 dollars for some outside group the certify me.
Again it's the big dollar .inc's that can persuade. See any roaster can get: shade grown/organic/faretrade/whatever from the broker, it's not about " cetification" it's about trust. And if you don't trust your roaster then go ahead and believe a corporation. my.02
 

NW JAVA

New member
I would suggest you take a look at my brokers offering list:
http://www.atlascoffee.com/offeringlist.htm
and lok at the different choices I can select from. Don't you think that I have to ballance the wants of my customers for me to make a buying decission? The last thing in the worl I want is ( The UN) for some outside group to tell others that I'm " bad" because I'm not certified...and you know, I don't like the IRS either.
 
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tlhamzy

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May 30, 2004
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threatened?

NW Java, you sound a bit threatened by this trend. First of all, don't be silly, the green beans are not sprayed with pesticides, the coffee bushes are. It is explained in the book, I don't think you've read it, or you wouldn't be confused. I expected to get alot of backlash from roasters who don't want to jigger their supply chains to accommodate certification.

Certification is currently the only way we have of ensuring that the coffee was grown organically, in shade grown conditions, and that the farmer received a fair price for the coffee. It's time for us to take some responsibility for our part in the poverty of the countries that grow the coffee.

Of course, if you would like to turn a blind eye and keep doing what you are doing, you can certainly do that, but you may be left behind in the new wave of socially concious decisions that coffee drinkers are making these days.

Yes, I eat fruit (duh), but I try to buy organic as much as possible, and since the organic industry grows at a rate of 92% a year, I'm in good company. We cannot take your word that your coffee was organically grown, there are too many unscrupulous people who just say what you want to hear. THAT IS WHY THERE IS CERTIFICATION, so growers and roasters can't just talk the talk without having to walk the walk.

If you don't have time to read the book, read this article, "The Coffee Clash" from Time Magazine in March of '04.

http://www.time.com/time/insidebiz/arti ... -1,00.html

To answer Blue Monkey, I have looked at some of the other coffee roaster sites, but many offer organic as a side item, I am looking for a company that promotes the organic, shade grown, fair trade coffee exclusively. That shows that they "get it" and that's who I want to do business with. There are others that offer it exclusively too, like sustainable harvest, but their web site is not as user friendly, so I just stick with Grounds For Change. Their pricing makes it easy to stay within the 65% to 75% GPM. I just wanna make a living, without exploiting the environment, migratory birds, and the coffee growers. Without certification, how do we know that they are being treated fairly, they haven't been till now.

GFC has sent me many samples over the past year, and have stuck with me thru thick and thin while i have been trying to open my business. I think they've sent me 20 lbs of free coffee to try, and cheerfully. I suggest you contact them via their wholesale order form. They will get pricing and samples to you right away. Tell them Troy sent ya! Have fun, and stick to your guns. There have been people like NW Java, above, who have tried that wrap on me, don't buy it.

Also, the article above, "The Coffee Clash" from Time Magazine in March of '04 says that many universities DEMAND fair trade coffee..go for it!!! :)
 

Blue Monkey

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Feb 6, 2005
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Thanks for the encouragement TLHAMZY! My partner just recieved our sample package from Grounds For Change and man you were not kidding. They loaded us up. I was wondering if there is some sort of certification process to go through to be part of the fair trade chain.

Blue Monkey
 
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tlhamzy

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May 30, 2004
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mmmm good!

Blue Monkey, I have handed out samples all year long to some of my most descriminating coffee-drinking friends and have not had one complaint. They all say "mmmm good!"

As far as being part of the certification process at a retailer level, you are a part of it when you choose to support the system, by buying certified, which ensures it is actually certified. Your customers feel better too.

It is unfortunate that honest coffee buyers (have there really been any? I don't know, based on the poverty of the coffee-producing countries and the damage to our water systems and rain forests, if there have been, they have been the minority, and now it's time for verification), who may have been giving coffee farmers fair prices, buying only organic shade grown, before the certification process was started (not by a corporation, by the way, but by a guy armed with a masters degree who saw a need), that they have to fork out a fee to certifyers now....but those who have been running the coffee industry have had their chance to be "honest" and it just hasn't worked.

Read all about Fair Trade here:
http://www.transfairusa.org/content/abo ... 329_bt.php
 

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