Fair Trade USA, USAID and Green Mountain Coffee Support Brazilian Coffee Farmers

The Sustainable Sourcing Partnership Begins!

02/15/2011 - 9:32 AM

We at Fair Trade USA are very excited to tell you about a new partnership in the world of Fair Trade, one that promotes biodiversity, conservation, and environmental education among Brazil’s coffee growing communities. We are teaming up with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and Green Mountain Coffee® for a two year initiative called the Sustainable Sourcing Partnership Project. Our work together will help increase producer organizations’ understanding of and compliance with Fair Trade environmental standards and Brazilian environmental law.

Promoting Sustainability

Not only will the initiative support Fair Trade certification for new producer organizations and increase the amount of land under enhanced environmental protection, but the project will also support producer organizations interested in organic production and promote marketplace access for their products. It is a project that recognizes that biodiverse ecosystems form an important foundation for economic and social development, and that Fair Trade can be utilized as a tool for not only sustainable coffee production, but also for community empowerment.

“We fully endorse the goals of the Sustainable Sourcing Partnership in Brazil, which align with Green Mountain Coffee’s commitment to grow purchases of Fair Trade Certified coffee,” said Lindsey Bolger, Senior Director of Coffee Sourcing and Relationships for the Specialty Coffee business unit of Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc. “We are pleased to participate in this comprehensive program that is focused on helping coffee farming families improve their livelihoods and the biodiversity of their farms. We are confident that this partnership will be a win for consumers and a win for Fair Trade coffee farming families in Brazil.”

Building on Success

Our partnership will build on the success of the recently completed Responsible Sourcing Partnership, which enabled participating farmers to continue making high-volume sales, while diversifying their client bases among new sustainability- and quality-oriented customers like Green Mountain Coffee. These farmers now look to the Sustainable Sourcing Partnership as a wonderful opportunity to direct focus towards sustainability initiatives.

“I am so thankful for the commitment and effort of Fair Trade USA and the Responsible Sourcing Partnership Project,” said Pedro Carnielli from PRONOVA, “the results have been incredible.  We look forward to the opportunity to continue work with Fair Trade USA through a new project, the Sustainable Sourcing Partnership Project. We are grateful for the opportunity to continue working as partners and continue to improve the quality of life for our producer members”

“Our collaboration with the work of Fair Trade USA has been without a doubt an important experience of professional growth and incomparable success” adds Beatriz Souza Pereira from Unipasv, “it has brought us many accomplishments that have deeply strengthened us as an organization.  Thank you for your confidence in us, for your dedication, for the partnership and for our friendship.”

In order to better support farmers and workers like Pedro and Beatriz, the two-year initiative is designed to maximize the sustainability of Brazilian small-holder coffee cooperatives by delivering assistance in three areas:

1) Increasing the Brazilian hectareage under cultivation according to Fair Trade’s environmental standards

2) Strengthening the ability of Brazilian small-holders to produce organic-certified coffees for export to the U.S. marketplace; and

3) Building local capacity for more sustainable agronomy.

In essence, the project advocates for a better world by encouraging the production of coffee that is good for the consumer, the farmer and for the earth. It truly has the potential to positively impact the lives of thousands of Brazilian coffee farmers, giving them the tools necessary to invest in their futures.

The Fair Trade Mission

“This project personifies the goals of Fair Trade by producing quality products that improve lives andprotect the environment,” said Paul Rice, President and CEO of Fair Trade USA. “We’re excited to once again work with USAID and Green Mountain Coffee to promote sustainable and organic agriculture. The results of this program will offer these hard-working farmers long-term business skills and sustainable agriculture practices that will support these communities for generations to come.”

02/15/2011 - 9:32 AM
02/15/2011 - 9:32 AM