The coffee industry, in particular the specialty coffee industry, has put in a considerable amount of effort to transform the way the world thinks about coffee, shifting it away from a monolithic commodity toward something more unique, with a gradation of quality. This has been done in part to benefit those at origin who actually produce this beloved product. This has led to the creation of Fair Trade coffee and one step further, Direct Trade buying models, each with the end goal of seeing more money make it into the pockets of the coffee farmers.
Olympia Coffee Roasting Co. is looking to take their Direct Trade one step further with their new Fair For All sourcing model, which they hope will ensure a livable wage for everyone at the farm level, including the coffee pickers.
Announced in a statement released in conjunction with their 2017 Transparency Report, Olympia Coffee has enumerated a number of commitments that comprise the Fair For All plan. Many of these commitments, like setting coffee prices directly with the farmer and visiting the producer each year, are similar to those found in the Direct Trade buying model, but the Fair For All plan also includes many directives relating specifically to the safety and well-being of the farm worker. These include “[guaranteeing] a sustainable minimum wage to all laborers involved the production of our coffee (pickers, processors, and farm workers), set seasonally with the farm owner or cooperative board” and “[working] only with farmers who provide safe working conditions free of unnecessary danger, oppression, and violence and with access to clean water and healthy foods.”
From the press release:
We’ve witnessed that the coffee trade at origin has the most room for improvement in this story. Both historically and currently, the global coffee trade has exploited the poorest and most vulnerable people in the supply chain to benefit those who wield power.
Olympia Coffee continues:
Simply put, no Direct Trade system has ever ensured a minimum wage or safe working conditions for coffee pickers, processors, or other laborers within the farm itself. So, in 2018 we are leading our industry by ensuring that our coffee is Fair for All. We want to provide a higher quality of life for every individual in the story, including every part of the supply chain.
For more information about Fair For All or their 2017 Transparency Report, visit Olympia Coffee’s official website.
*top image via Olympia Coffee
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