Sustainability, Fairtrade & The Business of Coffee

Sustainability, Fairtrade & The Business of Coffee

Posted by Mark Bentham, The Coffee Man on 19th Feb 2019

It is time to think about the consumable products you buy and support their origins with mindfulness.

The choices we make as consumers have an impact on other people in the world, and the world itself.

Sustainability is everyone’s responsibility. And there is great support available from Fairtrade organisations to make this responsibility an easy choice.

Fairtrade Organisations

Fairtrade groups work hard to spread the word that trade often isn’t fair. They campaign to raise awareness of the needs of producers in developing countries, share the good reasons to buy Fairtrade products and persuade policymakers to change the fundamentally unfair trade system.

Fairtrade advocates for decent working conditions, fair prices for farmers, sustainable practices, environmental protection and the empowerment of farmers and workers in developing countries. As Fairtrade requires businesses to pay a fair price to farmers for their crop (acting as a safety net ensuring that farmers never receive less than the cost it took to produce their crop in a sustainable manner), Fairtrade is levelling the playing field for farmers to ensure they can improve their livelihoods and strengthen their businesses.

“We work with businesses, consumers and campaigners.
Farmers and workers have an equal say in everything we do. Empowerment is at the core of who we are.

We have a vision: a world in which all producers can enjoy
secure and sustainable livelihoods, fulfil their potential and decide on their future.

Our mission is to connect disadvantaged farmers and workers with consumers,
promote fairer trading conditions and empower farmers and workers to
combat poverty, strengthen their position and take more control over their lives.”

Fairtrade UK

Fairtrade Organisations do this and more;

  • Set social, economic and environmental standards for both companies and the farmers
  • Certifies products and ingredients after checking the above standards have been met
  • Works with companies’ own sustainability schemes
  • Lobbies government for better trade agreements
  • Works directly with farmers to tackle sustainability issues
  • Drives awareness to the public forum

Fairtrade are supported by many prevalent businesses and organisations, who through their vocal support, are spreading the word globally and really making a difference.

Kimberley Coffee Company was thrilled to meet Aussie superstar, Hugh Jackman at The Coffee Van over the dry season in Broome and spoke to him about his passion for Fairtrade coffee.

Hugh and his partner Dave Steingard opened the now famous Laughing Man Coffee in NYC after a trip to Ethiopia where he met a small coffee farmer and his family. Laughing Man Coffee has a strong social focus on helping coffee farmers and their communities. They also were responsible for bringing the first Flat Whites to the USA!

Responsible Cafes

Back here in Australia, we rely on help from Fairtrade Australia as the most credible third party organisation supporting sustainable coffee growing. Check  their list showing where you can buy coffee and make a difference.

Kimberley Coffee are proud to be included on that list!

Cafes that are associated with the Fairtrade organisation are well worth supporting – the fact that the beans they choose to buy, roast and sell are Fairtrade will mean you not only are doing the right thing, but you will have a better cup of coffee because the farmers take better care of their crops.

At Kimberley Coffee Company we are passionate about producing awesome coffee that is sustainable. Our signature award-winning organic blend Mintaka is Fairtrade and when you choose Fairtrade you are making a difference on the ground. You can buy it on our  website (link) and even join a coffee subscription where you always have freshly roasted, perfectly blended, Fairtrade, organic beans in your home.

Check out our Fairtrade product page – we have 8 delicious and sustainable coffee products including a beautiful decaf.

Keep Cups & Bio Cups

Being in the coffee business, there are some pretty positive ways that we as a business can encourage more sustainable consumers and a better environment.

These solutions are not always the cheapest (they are very rarely a cheap option in fact), often with costs worn by the business providing them. In the long term, however, building a mindful community and making offerings to consumers to adjust their thinking and increase awareness in relation to sustainability is a long term gain.

Kimberley Coffee is very proud to have offered customers the amazing BioCup instead of traditional takeaway coffee cups. Being that the Coffee Van is a takeaway coffee business, the Bio Cup was the only choice for single use coffee containers, and we have been using these for over 8 years.

Conventional paper and plastic were once the go-to materials for takeaway coffee cups. One of the reasons we love using Bio Cups for our takeaway coffees is that they are made with paper sourced from Fairtrade managed plantations and coated with a bioplastic made from plants rather than oil. They are durable and strong as they are double walled for the best strength, ensuring our magnificent coffee is kept inside the cup and retaining its heat until you make your way through it!

Another great product we offer online and at The Coffee Van, are our  Keep Cups. These hard wearing, environmentally sound, washable and reusable cups have a stylish look, retain the heat of the coffee longer than a paper cup, feature non-drip secure lids and allow you to hold a piping hot coffee without burning your fingers.

The Keep Cups took a little while to take off as they were a fairly new concept. We have been selling them for over 2 years. But, to incentivise sustainability within our community, we offered a discount of 50c for each coffee our customers buy when they bring their Keep Cup back for a market morning coffee. And they are now a very common sight every Saturday morning throughout the markets.

What a great outcome!

Want to find out more?

Check out my latest Coffee Shot Video.

More articles of interest from  Fairtrade here.

Try this great café locator to find  like-minded cafes close to you.