New York (September 22, 2009) - TransFair USA, the only third-party certifier of Fair Trade products in the United States, in partnership with the Cordes Foundation and Green Mountain Coffee today announced a Commitment to Action at the 2009 meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) to fight poverty among small farmers in Rwanda by enabling them to sell more Fair Trade Certified coffee.
Commitment partners will work with Rwandan farmers to develop consumer mobilization strategies to increase demand for their Fair Trade Certified coffees. These strategies will increase awareness of the Rwandan coffee story and the role of Fair Trade in promoting sustainable development in agricultural communities around the world. Engaging consumers directly with Rwanda's development represents a critical extension of TransFair USA's ongoing efforts in the country. TransFair USA has worked in Rwanda for more than three years, providing farmers with targeted training and linkages to international markets.
Valued at over $250,000, this commitment will benefit more than 5,000 members of Rwandan coffee families. It will also provide more than 1.5 million farmers throughout the global Fair Trade network with tools to tell their stories to U.S. industry leaders, grassroots advocates and consumers.
Coffee plays a critical role in Rwanda's economic rebuilding in the wake of civil war and genocide. It represents a lifeline for half a million farmers cultivating plots as small as half a hectare. Rwandan soil and climate conditions are ideal for the production of high-quality specialty coffee, but coffee farmers have historically suffered due to isolation from international buyers and crucial services. Fair Trade Certification offers farmers in Rwanda and beyond resources to overcome these barriers.
Fair Trade Certification provides higher prices, support for sustainable agriculture and funds for democratically-elected development projects. Through this commitment, TransFair USA, the Cordes Foundation, and Green Mountain Coffee will amplify the benefits Rwandan farmers gain from Fair Trade, increasing their incomes and capacities going forward.
About TransFair USA
TransFair USA is the only third-party certifier of Fair Trade Certified™ products in the United States. TransFair USA audits and certifies transactions between U.S. companies and their international suppliers to guarantee that the farmers and workers producing Fair Trade Certified goods were paid fair prices and wages. Visit www.FairTradeCertified.org.
About the Cordes Foundation
The Cordes Foundation was founded in 2006 by Ron and Marty Cordes, and seeks to play the role of a catalytic investor in innovative projects designed to utilize market-based solutions to fight global poverty. The Foundation is currently involved in projects promoting homeownership for low-income families in the United States as well as microfinance, Fair Trade agriculture, and sustainable schools in Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda.
About Green Mountain Coffee
As a leader in the specialty coffee industry, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc. (GMCR) is recognized for its award-winning coffees, innovative brewing technology, and socially responsible business practices. GMCR maintains two business units: the Specialty Coffee Business Unit, which includes the Green Mountain Coffee®, Newman's Own® Organics coffee and Tully's Coffee® brands, and the Keurig Business Unit, a pioneer and leading manufacturer of gourmet single-cup brewing systems. Green Mountain Coffee offers more than 100 high-quality coffees, including one of the largest selections of Fair Trade Certified™ organic coffees in the country. GMCR supports local and global communities by offsetting 100% of its direct greenhouse gas emissions, investing in Fair Trade Certified™ coffee, and donating at least five percent of its pre-tax profits to social and environmental projects.