Bucks County Coffee Co., the super-premium roaster of specialty coffee, announces on Wednesday, November 15 the formation of a strategic alliance with TransFair USA to market Fair Trade Certified coffee in the company’s 37 retail locations, through the buckscountycoffee.com website, and to its wholesale division. The alliance with TransFair USA calls for Bucks County Coffee Co. to purchase coffee under internationally accepted Fair Trade terms from small farmer cooperatives. Coffees certified by TransFair USA assure consumers that the farmers who grew the coffee were organized in democratically run cooperatives and are paid a pre-determined Fair Trade price, which will be at a premium over the prevailing market price.

Bucks County Coffee is executing a comprehensive marketing campaign in the mid-Atlantic region, including promotional events and consumer educational materials about Fair Trade Certified coffee. The TransFair USA’s Fair Trade Certified label will be displayed on coffee that has been grown, processed, traded and marketed in accordance with international Fair Trade criteria. Bucks County Coffee will source, roast and sell Fair Trade Certified coffee to meet growing consumer demand. In addition to its own Growers Blend, Bucks County Coffee will offer consumers Fair Trade Certified coffee from Costa Rica, Guatemala, Mexico, Nicaragua and Peru.

“We’re excited to offer our customers the opportunity to drink and purchase high-quality coffee and beans while supporting a higher quality of life for the family farmers,” said Rodger Owen, president of Bucks County Coffee Co. and the executive chairman of the United States Fair Trade Task Force. “This program will provide an additional opportunity for Bucks County Coffee to have a meaningful impact on the working and living conditions faced by many who grow, harvest and process coffee throughout the world.”

“Fair Trade Certified Coffee gives us all an easy way to help family farmers and the environment with something as simple as a daily cup of coffee,” says Paul Rice, TransFair’s executive director. “By choosing Fair Trade Certified Coffee, Bucks County Coffee Company and their customers are establishing a meaningful partnership with coffee farmers and their families — a partnership that empowers the growers both socially and economically.”

Fair Trade At A Fair Price…

In addition to its marketing efforts, Bucks County Coffee has agreed to hold the selling price for all of its Fair Trade Certified coffee to prices in line with similar varieties the company offers. “If we are asking our customers to help support this cause then we want them to know that we are doing our part as well,” stated Owen. “We’re committed to making the Fair Trade Certified program a success in the mid-Atlantic region.”

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To celebrate today’s launch of its new coffee to its customers and the community, Bucks County Coffee will offer free cups of its Fair Trade Certified coffee in all of the company’s stores and provide coupons for $2.00 off the purchase of Fair Trade Certified coffee beans. In addition, Bucks County Coffee will host a press event at its 30th Street Amtrak location in Philadelphia with Paul Rice and Nicaraguan coffee farmer Santiago Rivera on hand to toast and celebrate the arrival of Fair Trade Certified coffee to the area.

The Impact of Fair Trade Certified Coffee…

Coffee is the second most valuable export commodity in the world, following oil. The US consumes an estimated one-fifth (2.5 billion pounds) of global coffee production, making it the largest consumer in the world. Fair Trade promoters say if they can secure even a fraction of the market, it would be a victory for farming families. Fair Trade Certified coffee currently benefits 550,000 farming families in 20 countries around the world; an increase in US demand would dramatically increase that number.

About Fair Trade and Trans Fair USA…

Fair Trade is an alternative form of trade that seeks to support coffee farmers by guaranteeing a decent, living wage for their harvest and encouraging organic cultivation methods that are safer for communities. As a member of its Fair Trade cooperatives, farmers are provided much-needed credit and assured at a rate significantly higher than the standard wages for their coffee. Currently, many small coffee farmers receive prices for their coffees that are less than the costs of production, forcing them into a cycle of poverty and debt. As members of the Fair Trade network, farmers can more than double their income, enabling them to invest in better healthcare and education for their families.

TransFair USA, a non-profit agency, is the only organization providing independent, third-party certification of Fair Trade products in the US. TransFair promotes mutually-beneficial relationships between farmers and coffee companies, and educates consumers about international trade and economic development. Through regular visits to Fair Trade farmer cooperatives, and partnerships with participating coffee companies in the US, TransFair guarantees that Fair Trade Certified products were grown and traded responsibly.

About Bucks County Coffee Co.

Bucks County Coffee Co., founded in 1982, is a leader in the specialty coffee industry. The company roasts more than 50 varieties of arabica coffees, including estate, proprietary blends, decaffeinated, organics, single origins, and flavored coffees. The company owns and operates thirty-seven retail stores in the mid-Atlantic region including the major markets of Princeton, N.J., Philadelphia, PA, and Washington, D.C. A growing source of revenue comes from the company’s Specialty Sales Division (wholesale) which serves the supermarket, food service, and office coffee markets and from online sales.

To read our feature article: “Hijacking or Helping – Fair Trade Goes Mainstream” Click Here