Archive of all our articles about CC, our roasters, our producers, and the fair trade movement.
Adobe pdf file of Tiwun article
A life of solidarity between communities
USFT Convergence Questions ‘FairWashing’ by Transnationals
Thanks to a recent hush-hush USDA ruling, your clean-conscience, fair-trade, organic latte may soon be a thing of the past.
April 29, 2004 - AMERICUS, GA
Here is an article from the Montreal gazette, as part of their "On the Coffee Trail: from Nicaragua to your Cup" series, discussing the place of fair trade in Montreal, focusing of course on our Montreal-based roaster member, Cafe Rico.
Here is an article from the Montreal Gazette's "On the Coffee Trail: From Nicaragua to your Cup" series. They offer a small glimpse into the life of a fair trade coffee farm, one that is a part of CECOCAFEN, an umbrella group in Nicaragua from whom we import green coffee.
The Pros and Cons of Fair-Trade Coffee
As the fair-trade movement evolves, farmers, activists and others fear that the meaning of the term will become corrupted
CRS wire article on the Coffee Talk radio program Deans Beans helped set up in Guatemala
Sunday February 25, 2007 Observer Food Monthly From the Guardian UK This is a story about gourmet coffee and genocide. It takes place in Rwanda ...
Foreign coffee growers plea for more fair trade
New Internationalist November 2006 • Issue 395 Ethical shopping / FAIR TRADE
Feature article in the Courier-Journal featuring producer partner Nahuala and a visit by Cooperative Coffees and Heine Brothers Co, in Louiville, Kentucky.
Who's Paying For Your Fix: A Crop-to-Cup Cost-Benefit Analysis Of Your Morning Pick-Me-Up
A first export of Tiwun coffee (Tayrona Indigenous Federation) from the Arhuacos to Cooperative Coffees makes headlines in Colombia. by Lila Esther Silgado Villadiego of the Diario La República. Spanish version only.
Coffee Connection PDF page 1 (front page of Courier Journal)
Published April 29, 2004 12:00 am - AMERICUS -- The next time you go to take a sip of your favorite cappuccino, try to sense more than the aroma. "Think a little deeper about who is behind the coffee," said Bill Harris Jr.
Take a peak at this great article looking at the growth and business style of one of our very own roaster members.
This is a great article that highlights the debates currently raging in Fair Trade circles: the place of multinationals, the role of FLO, and the minimum price of FT coffee. Many members are featured in the article, and Cooperative Coffees is given as an example of a player that is staying true to the integrity of the movement.
Higher Grounds trading Co. passed in a podcast from a Jesuit radio program called “Provoke” , dating from may 20th, 2007.
Naomi Lightman. Sept 27th, 2007. This is a feature article on the ongoing discussion surrounding the future of fair trade, written by Naomi, an intern at Cooperative Coffees last year, for McGill University's student newspaper, The McGill Daily.
Institute for Food and Development Policy. DEVELOPMENT REPORT No 17.
greendealsdaily.com checked out some of Higher Ground's blends in the latest blog post, and came up with a winning review.
The Independent takes a look at Divine Chocolate, a fair trade chocolate company that truly embodies the meaning of fair trade-the producer coop that supplies the cocoa are actual owners of half the company.
One of our members, Dean Cycon, founder of Dean's Beans, has written a book about his experiences traveling the world sourcing fair trade coffee. Green LA Girl blogger gives it a glowing review here.
Fair Trade and Indigenous People. This issue was dedicated to fair trade, and attempted to dig deeper on all aspects of the fair trade movement, and how it relates to the realities of indigenous people.
AlterNet article written by Dean Cycon of Deans Beans, on the effects of climate change on coffee and its producers.
Confronting the Coffee Crisis:Fair Trade, Sustainable Livelihoods and Ecosystems in Mexico and Central America.
New book addresses and examines the issues surrounding the coffee trade from field to cup.
Article about Higher Grounds university visit.
Coop Coffees has a gem in our midst. Kickapoo's Fondo Paez roast just got the top slot on CoffeeReview.com with a whopping 95 point score. Congrats to Wilman and all the amazing Paez farmers! And to Caleb at Kickapoo and his endless cupping! Read on below for the full review.
Seattle Times reports on Coop Coffees member Pura Vida's bid to sell coffee to the U.S. House of Representatives based on a gold old fashioned taste test.
The Herald. February 19 2008, by REBECCA McQUILLAN.
CECOCAFEN given as an inspiring example of the role of fair trade cooperatives within a community.
The Adams Smith Institute think tank recently released a flawed report decrying the injustices and insufficiencies of fair trade. The Fairtrade Foundation gives a counterpoint of each of their arguments in this press release.
EcoSpace Conscious Community writes an article examining the environmental impact of importing fair trade goods in terms of their ecological footprint.
Wall Street Journal article on fair trade tours-highlighting Coop Coffees members Just Coffee, Higher Grounds, and Pura Vida-and their role in helping customers become fair trade ambassadors by seeing benefits first hand.
The Bean Activist blog reacts to the recent article in the WSJ on Fair Trade Travel, their free trade misnomer, and misguided interpretation that growth, and not justice, is the guiding force behind these efforts.
In response to fair trade's skyrocketing popularity in the UK, this BBC article looks at the questions that have been asked (particularly by the Adams Smith Institute) on the effect fair trade has in the developing world, and finds the resulting increased self-sufficiency of producers.
A second look at the assumption that food that comes from farther away entails a higher carbon footprint, and what this means for fair trade.
This march 12th article by the World Advertising Research Center (WARC) looks at the growing success of fair trade marketing.
March 12th Guardian article that looks at the stories of three producers whose communities have been changed by becoming fair trade.
Interesting Guardian article looks at the rising prices of the commodities market, and the affect this might have on fair trade producer cooperatives.
Making Sense of Certification — Fair Trade, Direct Trade, Rainforest Alliance, UTZ, Whole Trade, and Organic.
March 30th 2008 Posted to Coffee Certification. Thorough overview of different coffee certifications and what they mean.
Consumer Reports: Greener Choices, Products for a Better Planet. A look at the gamut of coffee labels, and how to distinguish between them.
Business Week. Retailing April 1, 2008, 6:35PM EST. The retailer's initiative to offer fair-trade coffee is pleasing environmentalists but reheating a debate over treatment of its workers
Report on panel discussion at the University of Vermont titled "How Green Is Your Coffee?", featuring Monika Firl, producer relations at CoopCoffees, Mane Alves, CoopCoffees member and coffee cupper, and Ernesto Mendez, a UVM professor and contact for El Comanur cooperative in EL Salvador, looks the coffee crisis and the role fair trade plays in coffee producing countries.
April 26, 2008. More people beginning to recognize that fair trade is not necessarily free trade. This Vancouver Sun article looks at consumers' growing awareness of fair trade, and at the challenges that still lie ahead in terms of people's notions of fair trade goes beyond just a "fair price".
May 8, 2008. Minnesota Daily article discusses the coffee chain and coffee quality, citing Peace Coffee as an example of a true fair trader.
May 14, 2008 article from African Path looks at the presence of Ethiopian coffee at this year's SCAA.
May 18, 2008. This Albany Herald article on the 10 year anniversary of Cafe Campesino looks at the history of the Americus roastery, and at how Coop Coffees got its start.
By Melanie Gagne
May 15th 2008. The Reedsburg Times Press wrote this article covering Just Coffee's leg of the MidWest Producer Tour with many of our producer partners, including representatives from Manos Campesinas, Fecafeb, la FEM, CENFROCAFE, and Maya Vinic.
Saturday, 24 May 2008. The Independent writes about Fair Trade's growing success.
Fair trade might now be necessary not only as a means of redistributing income, but also to feed the world.
As Fair Trade coffee makes its way onto the shelves of giant corporations like Walmart, spokespersons such as Monika Firl of Cooperative Coffees, warn that Fair Trade coffee available in such mega-stores may not necessarily embody the original spirit of Fair Trade as "social movement". Read on (and listen!) to discover the inner-workings of the corporate world's adoption of Fair Trade.
A fascinating, in depth look at the story of coffee trade in Uganda during Idi Amin's terrifying reign, and the beginnings of Fair Trade in the country with UK-based company, Cafédirect.
Blog entry from the folks at Catholic Relief Service about a trip to El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras one of their staff is taking, in the company of Tripp from Cafe Campesino.
When the economy starts to hurt Starbucks, I know we’re in trouble. Fortunately, Dean’s Beans is still going strong, so there is some hope. For those of you who don’t know, Dean’s Beans started the fair trade movement in coffee and makes a variety of fair trade and organic roasts that put Starbucks to shame (both in terms of taste and corporate policy).
Social Activist, ‘Javatrekker’ Dean Cycon Believes in Organic Business Growth. By GEORGE O’BRIEN. Published in Business West in the July 7th, 2008 Edition
Some proponents say the adjustments needed to bring companies like Wal-Mart and P&G aboard warp the goal of helping small farmers. Must standards for certification be lowered for Fair Trade to have any chance of entering the doors of multimillion-dollar corporations like Walmart? Do the necessary compromises undermine the very nature and essence of the movement? Here's a thought-provoking article about the next step for Fair Trade as it makes its debut in the world of big-box stores and mainstream markets. Business Week article by Pallavi Gogoi June 18th, 2008.
The Americus-based specialty coffee roaster and co-founder of Cooperative Coffee celebrates its 10th anniversary this year. Before toasting to our dearly beloved member and "founding father," let's retrace a bit of the history and mission behind this trail-blazing roastery and recently inaugurated coffee shop!
CoopCoffee's member roaster Dean from Dean's Beans isn't staying quiet about the potential threat that climate change poses to coffee production all over the world. In his blog published in "The Corporate Social Responsibility Newswire," he uses the personal experiences and stories of farmers who are forced to deal with the volatile effects of global warming and the various ecological abnormalities that go along with it.
Last July, Alternative Grounds celebrated their 13th anniversary and we thought this would be a great opportunity to let you know a little bit about their impressive list of ongoing projects. From Amnesty International to an original postcard project, read all about the great new projects that the good folks at Alternative Grounds have been up to lately.
August 12th, 2008 article from WorldChanging discussing "Confronting the Coffee Crisis", a collection of papers about coffee and fair trade by Christopher M. Bacon (Editor), V. Ernesto Méndez (Editor), Stephen R. Gliessman (Editor), David Goodman (Editor), Jonathan A. Fox (Editor).
An unfortunate, although increasingly common response to new, against-the-grain ideas (like Fair Trade) is the outcry from skeptical naysayers who’d prefer to put a stop to anything that challenges their view of the world. So, with Fair Trade gaining momentum worldwide, more folks have started paying attention to it, which also means that more people are looking for an excuse to call Fair Trade “bad”.
Reuters - August 21st article looks at the disproportionate effect of climate change on coffee farmers in Peru.
After participating in the annual Roaster's Guild Retreat and winning first place in the roasting competition, Peace Coffee's team "Los Guapos" received the snazzy miniroaster, Probatino by Probat Burns. They decided to donate it to CoopCoffee's long-time producer-partner Maya Vinic in Mexico and we can happily announce it's safe arrival!
IFAT believes that “a modern, voluntary, worldwide standard is needed to identify and define the rules of Fair Trade.” In August 2008, IFAT announced a new certification process (SFTMS) that is expected to help FTO’s differentiate themselves further from conventional buyers and sellers by providing the “seel” for corporate social responsibility. They’ve posted a series of notes and explanations on their website and have invited the public to comment on the Standard’s draft.
The "tsunami" of financial troubles that has ripped through Wall Street and sent panic and fear into Main Street poses several tough questions and situations for the Fair Trade business. In a commentary released in September, authors at Fair Trade Federation notify readers of the direct impacts of the crisis as well as advice for those involved in Fair Trade businesses.
Every year for the last 5 years, Roast Magazine has put on a Roaster of the Year Competition to which roasters all across the country apply and enter their best coffees. Being the prestigious contest that it is, the competition is fierce and the judgment is tough. This year, CoopCoffee's member roaster Kickapoo Coffee entered for the first time ever and ended up making it as one of the top three finalists!
In their October 2008 issue, Fresh Cup magazine published an article about the unique and effective cooperative model within the Fair Trade world. Author Steven Krolak cites examples of a few cooperative-structured companies -- including our very own Just Coffee and Peace Coffee! The article discusses the benefits and challenges of forming, participating in, and managing a collectively-owned cooperative.
In the last decade, Colombia has witnessed a brutal war take place in the rural regions of the country where lawless paramilitaries and dangerously powerful drug lords ruthlessly rip through areas occupied by indigenous groups. The government has responded with retaliatory violence in which innocent bystanders fall victim to undiscriminating police officers. In the midst of it all, indigenous groups -- including Fondo Paez -- have attempted to redress historical problems of land mismanagement and ownership, hoping to regain the land that has so violently been taken from them.
The Star Tribune (newspaper in Minneapolis) featured Peace Coffee and their sustainable business model in October. From their bike/bio-diesel van deliveries, to their (and Cooperative Coffees') model of trade, to the controversy surrounding FT certification, this article covers several "hot" items affecting many of our roasters today.
In an article published in October, Francisco Mendoza of "El Nuevo Diario" (newspaper of Managua, Nicaragua) reports on CECOCAFEN's prize-winning efforts in the Women's Solidarity Project! In a contest in which coops from over 20 different countries participated and 50 different social development projects were presented, CoopCoffee's cooperative partner captured second place!
With funds raised during a local Coffee Festival and from a showing of the documentary Black Gold, Desert Sun recently delivered a check to Negele Gorbitu, a coop belonging to the Oromia Union in Ethiopia. As a supplement to an ongoing school project, this money will help students get the basic educational resources they so desperately need and deserve.
Nearly 10 years into its development, FLO has fallen increasingly under scrutiny as actors in the world of Fair Trade are becoming more and more wary of the organization's commitment to the well-being of small-scale producers. In response to the criticism, FLO has recently agreed that change should happen...now we all wait with eager anticipation to see how their plans unfold.