CEO takes notice of Fair Trade!
As you know from my last email, I wrote directly to the CEO of my company to suggest that we provide Fair Trade coffee in all of our buildings. He responded with a lot of interest, and gave me a lot of power to work with our Facilities department. I followed up with several people, showing that there were indeed Fair Trade options available and that they were the exact same price as our current coffees! Specifically, we needed coffee in the K-cup format used in Keurig instant coffee machines, and luckily Green Mountain Coffee Roasters offered several Fair Trade blends in that format ( http://www.keurig.com).
Several days ago, I went to the breakroom, and there were two Green Mountain Fair Trade blends there! I quickly put together table tents to place above the Fair Trade options in each of the breakrooms, as well as a little sign saying that the company "offers Fair Trade Certified coffee, a socially equitable and environmentally sustainable choice."
There are other formats of coffee in the company that are still being evaulated. There are small bags of ground coffee that are used in regular percolators. Someone in Facilities called me and said that Starbucks will be offering a Fair Trade blend in that format early in 2006. At that time, they will order some of those, provided that cost is not prohibitive.
I received the following email from Facilities, and I want to get people's opinion about the National Federation of Coffee Growers of Columbia (Juan Valdez). This is supposedly an organization that protects producer-rights, although I don't know a lot about it.
EMAIL TO ME
We asked our coffee vendor to look into sources for fair trade coffee that could be used in the office brewers. So far, we have found one blend that they stock for the Keurig machines. It is a Sumatra blend and we are having some distributed to locations throughout the campus this week. We have had less success finding fair trade blends for the larger pot brewers. We do serve Starbucks in the café which meets the Fair Trade specification.* Until we find an alternative, I have instructed the vendor to specify blends that are members of the National Federation of Coffee Growers of Columbia. Feel free to contact me directly if you have any questions.
X*It actually isn't Fair Trade certified. There is confusion about Starbucks being certified as a "FT certified company", as opposed to having only a single FT blend.