One of the powerful things about the Fair Trade model is its ability to impact both farmers and workers on the ground as well as mission-driven companies here in the U.S. looking to make a difference. With Fair Trade, these businesses, cafes, retailers and roasters are able to offer their customers high-quality coffee that truly gives farmers a better deal for all of their hard work.
Here to tell us about the Fair Trade experience at Red Cedar Coffee Co., a small, family-owned roaster in Berea, Ohio, is Anne Denton. In this Q&A, Anne tells Fair Trade USA all about brewing the perfect cup of coffee, traveling through South American coffeelands and the reason why Red Cedar Coffee chooses Fair Trade Certified.
Tell us about Red Cedar Coffee Co.
Red Cedar Coffee Co.  is a small, family-owned specialty coffee roaster located in Berea, Ohio, just outside of Cleveland. Our company supplies coffee to café, white tablecloth restaurants, and gourmet markets. Our family has a special relationship with coffee growing countries; we have lived in and traveled through the coffee growing regions of Mexico, Venezuela, Brazil and Indonesia.
How was Red Cedar Coffee founded? What principles guided its formation?
As a small, family owned business, we are focused on owner operated cafes looking for specialty coffees roasted to their specifications.
Why is Fair Trade an important part of your business?
We feel that Fair Trade compliments our business. Like Red Cedar Coffee , so many of these farms are family-owned. We believe that it is important that farmers are paid a fair wage for their labor, and also have access to healthcare and education. While living throughout Central and South America, Larry was able to see poverty first hand. We feel that Fair Trade can help make a difference.
Secondly, we feel that it’s important to offer coffees that have been grown organically and without the use of commercial grade fertilizers.
Throughout the year we participate at various local farmers’ markets where customers increasingly want to know the story behind the coffee, and Fair Trade helps us tell that tale.
What regions does your Fair Trade coffee come from?
We currently roast Fair Trade Certified organic coffees from Mexico, Peru, Colombia, and Sumatra. We are continuing to grow our Fair Trade coffee line.
What makes the perfect cup of coffee?
If you have the time, the French press (or press pot) is one of the best ways to brew a cup of coffee. Since the coffee grounds are exposed to water much longer than traditional drip brewers, you’re able to detect more of the nuances in a particular coffee. It’s a great way to study new flavors, and allows you to slow down and really enjoy your cup of coffee.
How do you educate your customers about Fair Trade?
Farmers markets, our company’s website and Facebook page, as well as giving presentations to local groups.
Larry has traveled all around the world in search of great coffee. What’s his favorite origin and why?
Larry’s favorite origin is Mexico. He grew up in the country, speaks the language, and understands the culture. He’s been able to travel extensively through the coffee growing regions of Oaxaca  and Veracruz .
Do you have a favorite story from origin?
My favorite origin is Brazil. I was once traveling through Curitiba, Parana , and stopped off at a small, local coffee roaster. The roaster emphasized that it was important for Brazilians to consume more of their own coffee, and to keep higher quality coffees for domestic consumption. As a result, he was roasting coffees grown in the state of Parana to showcase the coffee to local residents.