October is Fair Trade Month and a great time to learn more about what Fair Trade Certification™ really means for your favorite businesses and products. At Kauai Coffee, our commitment to sustainability means that we grow our coffee in a way that conserves natural resources and provides a safe, healthy, and positive work environment for everyone involved in its production.
In 2018, Kauai Coffee Company began the certification journey. Today our 100% Hawaiian Coffee has earned the unique distinction of being triple certified by leading sustainability advocates, including Fair Trade USA®, the Rainforest Alliance, and Non-GMO Project. This means that when you drink 100% Kauai Coffee, you’re choosing coffee that is better for people, plants, and our planet. We’re proud to display our commitment to sustainability and these certification seals on our packaging to help customers make informed purchasing decisions.
“With these certifications, we offer an authentic product that is grown locally on Kaua’i, made responsibly, and verified by third parties to meet sustainability objectives,” said Dawna Haze, Kauai Coffee Area Business Manager. “We grow coffee that our customers can feel great about purchasing and sharing with their ‘ohana,” she continued.
What does the Fair Trade Certification™ Mean?
Fair trade is a global movement that began after World War II to connect marginalized workers to global markets. Today the fair trade movement is supported by a diverse network of producers, companies, customers, and organizations working together to build a more equitable trade model.
In 1988, coffee was the first product to carry a fair trade mark. Ten years later, Fair Trade USA® was established with a handful of partners and has grown to be the leading certifier of fair trade products in North America with more than 1,250 partners.
When you see a product with the Fair Trade Certified seal, you can be sure its producer meets rigorous social, environmental, and economic standards, including
- Safe working conditions
- Environmental protection
- Sustainable livelihoods
- Community Development Funds
How do Coffee Farms qualify for Fair Trade Certification?
To become Fair Trade Certified™, coffee producers must meet rigorous standards that address different aspects of trade relationships including, traceability, information documentation, and transparency. Fair Trade USA® also requires payment of a Fair Trade Premium, a set amount of money that goes back to workers and their communities, in addition to the payment of a fair market price.
“We’re moving toward a community-service organization disguised as a coffee company,” said Fred Cowell, General Manager. “With the Fair Trade Premium, we are projected to reserve up to $200,000 for community development in 2022,” he continued.
As a Fair Trade USA® partner, Kauai Coffee has created a worker-controlled Fair Trade Committee representing all parts of the company. The committee is responsible for identifying needs within the company and community as well as distributing our Premium funds to improve their own working and living conditions and funding outside causes in the community they deem important.
How does buying Fair Trade Certified™ products help farmers and the environment?
When you purchase Fair Trade Certified™ products, you can be sure they are made in a sustainable way that protects the environment and supports social and economic growth.
“With approximately 30% of our orchard area now mowed, planted with cover crop, and/or treated with compost, we’re proud to announce that we have achieved our Sustainable Coffee Challenge commitment not just for 2021 but have exceeded our goal for our 2022 target as well,” said Cowell.
The Fair Trade premium also puts money back into the hands of workers and their communities, so your purchase supports community development too. Since 1999 producers have earned a total financial benefit of more than $845 million through the sale of Fair Trade Certified™ products.
At Kauai Coffee, ‘ohana (family) is at the center of everything we do. We respect our associates by providing fair wages, health care, retirement savings plans, and a safe working environment.
Where to Buy 100% Kauai Coffee
100% Kauai Coffee ships worldwide from our website, is available at our Visitor Center, and most grocery stores in Hawaii. Buy five bags of 100% Kauai Coffee, get the sixth free when you order online. Look for the Fair Trade Certified™, Rainforest Alliance Certified™, and Non-GMO Project verification seals on the package.