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Thread: Ethical Suppliers???

  1. #1
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    Ethical Suppliers???

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Dear All

    Can anyone tell me how much we can really know about the growers of the green beans we buy here at CS. Can we tell if the production of this magnificent produce is done in a way that is environmentally sustainable and fair to growers and workers? Do People care about this?

    Interested in your thoughts. Tim

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    Re: Ethical Suppliers???

    Hi Tim,

    That is where `Fairtrade and `Organic come into play...Organic is self explanatory, but if you do a search for `Fairtrade, you will see how the organisation works to provide a better deal for the growers by cutting out the middleman/person.

    Whether Fairtrade produces a better result for the producer, or whether it just assuages the guilt of affluent Western coffee drinkers remains to be seen.....but coffee carrying these classifications certainly costs more to buy!

    Cheers.....-

    P.S. Just because a coffee is not classified `organic does not mean that it has been sprayed with pesticides....getting an organic classification is an expensive exercise that some smaller producers simply cant afford.

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    Re: Ethical Suppliers???

    Environmental sustainability is really a developed world concept. Most developing nations with any sort of coffee or agricultural industry rarely concern themselves with sustainability, because they just want their turn when it comes to natural resources; resources the developed world already have exploited within their own borders, and hence seek to conserve them elsewhere. They are just trying to eke out an existance. Sometimes the demands, in this case the coffee-drinking society of the world, put pressure on producers to increase yields. Sustainability takes a backseat to profitability.

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    CoffeeSnobs Owner Andy's Avatar
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    Re: Ethical Suppliers???

    Interesting question TimA.

    In the past we have had some great shade grown, bird friendly and organic certified coffees.... but I must state not all of them fall into these "warm and fuzzy" categories and the additional prices also caused many members not to buy them :(

    One of the current poll coffees from the Himalaya Estate in El Salvador is actually organic without certification. Their certified version of the same bean is $1 a kilo more from the same farm, same processing, same hill, same workers.

    Due to the high grade of most of our coffee it is grown on farms that care for the environment and their workers by producing a higher quality (ergo higher price to the farmer) product.

    As far as Fairtrade goes, we should get the first of the Fairtrade coffees through CS next month. We have just been certified as a Fairtrade green bean seller (as far as I know we are the only one the world!). It has been months of paper shuffle and we have to provide audit documents back to the FLO each quarter along with licence fees but what it does mean is that we can now access Fairtrade coffee that was previously only available to the certified roasters.

    I should also note that one of the restrictions of our Fairtrade licence is that the green beans are only for members use and not for resale and full details will be posted later in the month.

    So the short answer to your query is.... YES, we are aware of the impact on the planet and really try to "do the right thing".

    Next month we might poll two coffees from the same region. One Fairtrade and one not to see once and for all what our members really want. ($$$ vs Fuzzies)

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    Re: Ethical Suppliers???

    Quote Originally Posted by Andy Freeman link=1123059837/0#3 date=1123079545
    Interesting question TimA.



    One of the current poll coffees from the Himalaya Estate in El Salvador is actually organic without certification. *Their certified version of the same bean is $1 a kilo more from the same farm, same processing, same hill, same workers.


    As far as Fairtrade goes, we should get the first of the Fairtrade coffees through CS next month. *We have just been certified as a Fairtrade green bean seller *(as far as I know we are the only one the world!). *It has been months of paper shuffle and we have to provide audit documents back to the FLO each quarter along with licence fees but what it does mean is that we can now access Fairtrade coffee that was previously only available to the certified roasters.

    So the short answer to your query is.... YES, we are aware of the impact on the planet and really try to "do the right thing".
    Thanks Andy. *I appreciate your efforts in doing this. Your information on the Elsalvador beans is also very interesting as I think the actual conditions are what matters to me not weather or not a bean has the "Fair Trade" label. *Tim

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    CoffeeSnobs Owner Andy's Avatar
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    Re: Ethical Suppliers???

    Im glad you care TimA. We do have a few members that are interested in the other-end of the process but like the planet as a whole I think its a small percentage.

    Lets have a look at some recent CS coffee:

    Yemen Mokha Ismaili Natural pestiside free and partly shade grown in a sustainable environment. Not certified.

    Organic Ugandan Bugisu Sipi Falls Grd 1 Certified organic by OCIA.

    Papua New Guinea Purosa organic A grade Certified by NASAA
    (National Association for Sustainable Agriculture Australia)

    Guatemalan SHB Volcan De Oro No idea. Comes from a single estate which "normaly" means reasonable working conditions.

    Bolivian Colonial Caranavi Organic Organic certified by OCIA and Bird Friendly.

    Ethiopian DJIMMAH No idea!

    Dominican Republic Soliman Organic Organic certified by IMO, shade grown, bird friendly.

    In general I think we have done pretty well on the organic front and a little more effort on supporting sustainable farming and fair farm price would be a good goal in furture polls too.

    I have even had a thought about CoffeeSnobs "sponsoring" a farm directly and am following-up some leads on that.


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    Re: Ethical Suppliers???

    Quote Originally Posted by samson link=1123059837/0#6 date=1126331840
    i cant believe you people have not heard of RAINFOREST ALLIANCE CERTIFIED COFFEES you are CS ARE YOU SURE ?

    if any one is intrstd *let me know i will or check Numero Uno Coffee web site.
    What is this post about? What do you mean by "you people"? *Please correct me if I am wrong, but this would appear to be a an attempt at one-upsmanship, sneering and patronising the membership.

    The Rainforest Alliance is in some cricles criticised as an organisation which is more about guilt elimination, providing employment for western workers and providing them with warm fuzzies. For heavens sake. *We do what we can when we can, and the fact that we are not actively exploiting third world workers - by buying their produce is a reasonable start. *There are many levels of market forces at work here, and lets not get involved in a "debate" about who is holier than thou. *I could say "I cant believe that some of YOU PEOPLE use equipment that would sustain a family for a year in some countries." *But if I did, I would be being shallow, ignorant and foolish. *From what I see, most of our membership is very keen to support Fairtrade principles, but wearing the T-shirt in trendy Darlinghurst or Fitzroy or wherever does not a political statement make. Especially if its done in the context of "fashion" as some of these outfits (pun intended) are prone to do. *Its bad enough running the gauntlet of paid, Nike clad and McDonalds eating charity "volunteers" in the street. * 8-)

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    Re: Ethical Suppliers???

    Quote Originally Posted by samson link=1123059837/0#6 date=1126331840
    i cant believe you people have not heard of RAINFOREST ALLIANCE CERTIFIED COFFEES you are CS ARE YOU SURE ?
    Huh?
    Im reading this thread and the only person to have mentioned RAINFOREST ALLIANCE CERTIFIED COFFEES seems to be you.

    Well OK - NOW Ive mentioned it and LochNes has mentioned it... but you get the gist!

    How about using language more like:
    "Theres another organisation known as RAINFOREST ALLIANCE CERTIFIED COFFEES. If youd like to know more, drop me a line"

    Or at least mentioning the other thread you are referring to.

    Personally, I cant believe youve never heard of the blizovinovitch effect!

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    Re: Ethical Suppliers???

    Quote Originally Posted by samson link=1123059837/0#6 date=1126331840
    i cant believe you people have not heard of RAINFOREST ALLIANCE CERTIFIED COFFEES you are CS ARE YOU SURE ?

    if any one is intrstd *let me know i will or check Numero Uno Coffee web site.
    .....which just serves to confirm the notion that the shed is the best place to go if youre looking to find a tool..... ::)

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    Re: Ethical Suppliers???

    i apoligise to everyone did not mean to upset anybody :( i will be careful how i put my words from now on :-[ please forgive my manner :(

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    Re: Ethical Suppliers???

    again sorry to all but just check all the specialist roasters and you will see that they are starting to use RAC coffees ,then again its up to each person what they do ,i will say that i did not mean to upset anyone :-/ :-*

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    Re: Ethical Suppliers???

    Quote Originally Posted by samson link=1123059837/0#10 date=1126403202
    ,i will say that i did not mean to upset anyone *:-/ :-*
    Its OK Samson - Sometimes the abbreviated ideas and comments in forums come out differently to the way we intend. :D
    It is best to keep threads going in one direction though, rather than responding to an idea in a different and/or new one. I think that might be what happened ::)

  13. #13
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    Re: Ethical Suppliers???

    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    From my limited research on this issue some 4 years ago, its mysterious how raw coffee bean prices can fluctuate wildly, but the poor growers never see any of the windfall.

    At the consumer end, cafe prices are pretty stable around the $3 mark, so the additonal costs arent being passed on.

    So, if the growers are in no position to capitalise on price hikes.... and consumers still pay $3 a shot irrespective, the cafe proprietors are also not profiteering. *

    Somewhere else along the food chain though, someone is. *

    But its no different to other commodities such as crude oil: the general population in oil-rich countries see little if any benefits, even when per barrel prices hover around $US 70







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