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Oldies But Goodies

Timor Update: Health, Education and Quality Coffee

Return to Sumatra

New Crop Haitian!

Year in Review 2013

Small Farmer's Exchange

SALE! 20 Years of Raising the Bar!

Javatrekker Tours!

Forging New Partnerships in El Salvador and Nicaragua

Fair Trade: Keeping it Real

Meet the makers of your Mexican beans!

A word on transparency

Democracy on the move in Burma

Pangoa Cooperative update

A real commitment to Women's Empowerment?

United Students, United Cause

Danger: Ethical Consumerism

So Who Can You Trust?

Farewell to Fair Trade Certified?

Johnny Depp, Fair Trade and Me - A Cautionary Tale

What is the Value of Your Values?

Somali Refugees Succeed with Dean's Beans!

Holding the Course in a Turbulent Time

Kenya - Struggling Towards Sustainability

Timor-Leste: Creating Fair, Direct Trade in a Complex Land

Overcoming Gender Violence in Rwanda

Supporting Girls' Empowerment in Guatemala

Speaking Truth to Power

One Love, One Hut (Ethiopia)

Into the Araku Valley (India)

Global Warning: Colombia

News from Guatemala!

Teaching and Learning in Peru

Celebrating Fair Trade in Ethiopia

Tadesse Comes to Town

Student Leaders and Dean's Beans Meet in Nicaragua!

Drink Dean's Beans and Fight Global Warming!

An Update from Papua-New Guinea

From the Highlands of Guatemala

Papua-New Guinea - Back to the Future

The Death Train - Part II (El Salvador)

Tracking the Death Train (Chiapas, Mexico)

My Life as a Pirate-Part II

My New Life as a Pirate

Into Africa-Creating Fair Trade in Kenya

Update and Thank You From the Farmers

An Update on Sumatra

The Situation in Sumatra

Our New Profit Sharing Program - More Cash in the Hands of Farmers

Halliburton Coffee - The Sequel

Halliburton-Support the Troops!

Starbucks-Show Me the Money!


The Real Impact of Fair Trade

Frankenbeans - Here Comes GMO Coffee!

Indigenous Coffee Farmers Self-Help Efforts in Oaxaca, Mexico

Using Coffee to Preserve Rainforests

The Heart of the Pine Ridge Occupation

Who Benefits from Hurricane Relief?

Fighting Big Oil in the Amazon

Ingrid Washinawatok - A Personal Memorial

Did Nazi's Grow your Coffee?

Pesticides Used in Coffee Production

Cooperatives Mean Self-Reliance for Coffee Farmers

Doing Business as an Expression of Progressive Values

Fair Trade: Keeping it Real

Knowing what is really Fair Trade is tough.  There are so many labels, certifications and sound bytes out there that we don’t know who to trust; there are certifiers going rogue to the dismay of farmers and fair trade activists, and there are, in general, many differing opinions about how fair trade should evolve in a changing world.
We are 100% committed to trade justice, and as fair trade evolves, we are evolving as well.  We are currently doing a review of our trade practices to make sure that they are still a full manifestation of our deepest values.  Here are few things we are thinking that we want to run by you:

  • We will buy from farmer groups that we have relationships with, regardless of their social certifications.  While the Fair Trade certification for farmers is a good indicator of fair pay, treatment, and democratic participation, it is not the only or necessarily the best way.  Our partners in the Proisch association in Mexico, for example, actively chose not to become Fair Trade certified, and we respect their decision.
  • When we buy from groups that we don’t have strong relationships with yet, they should be Fair Trade certified.  Until we can get to know these groups personally, the Fair Trade certification gives us a baseline confidence that we share the same values.
  • We will maintain our support of and membership in the Fair Trade Federation- a membership based organization of 100%, fully committed fair trade companies.  As a part of a group we will be more successful in influencing trade policies, educating consumers, and putting pressure on other companies to do better.
  • We will support a farmer-driven fair trade movement.  For too long, fair trade has been led by people in developed countries instead of by the people that the system is supposed to serve: the farmers.  We are starting to support 100% farmer-led initiatives (such as the Small Producer Symbol) that will help them take control of their own movement.
  • Everything we do must be completely transparent and independently accountable to both the farmers and you.
A part of our trade-practices review means reiterating that you are an integral part of this trading system.  Consumer activists have a lot of power to do good in the world, and we want your input on how we can best help you to do this.  Are we missing something? Are you happy with what we are doing?  Please send us your thoughts!



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