Statement on Fair Trade
Keurig Green Mountain has actively supported the fair trade movement since 2000, when we first partnered with Fair Trade USA (then TransFair USA) to help bring fair trade to mainstream coffee drinkers. Today, fair trade enables us to continue to provide high-quality coffee to consumers, while helping to improve the quality of life of coffee-growing farmers and their families around the world.
Tremendous progress has been made in the fair trade movement, and we believe even more exciting opportunities lie ahead. As with any movement, there are different perspectives on how to reach common goals. Over the years, we’ve supported a number of initiatives in our coffee-growing communities in partnership with multiple organizations. In the case of Fair Trade USA, we support its current pilot programs designed to innovate and seek ways to expand the fair trade model to allow more farmers and workers to benefit, which is in line with our reasons for embracing the fair trade movement over the years.
We are engaged in Fair Trade USA’s pilot programs, but we are not selling the piloted coffee as Fair Trade Certified™. There is still much to learn from the pilots – specifically how the benefits of fair trade will be applied through an expanded model and how impact will be delivered, measured, monitored and evaluated. The pilots will help inform how the model could be extended in the future, including new opportunities to impact more farmers and workers who fall outside the cooperative model, but are interested in pursuing responsible social and environmental practices.
It is critical that an expanded fair trade model — and its participants — be held to high standards that deliver on the promise of fair trade by strengthening farming communities; including more communities from around the world; and igniting consumers through increased awareness. We will continue to support programs that result in empowered workers benefitting fair trade and having an active voice in how premiums are used to improve their communities.
At the same time, any expansion of the fair trade model must not and will not compromise or undermine our ongoing commitment to small-scale farmers and their cooperatives. We believe this evolution will allow us to expand our involvement in fair trade while continuing to support and grow the relationships we have with our historic partners. As the fair trade model expands, we will continue to promote fair trade coffee to stimulate demand and further increase our purchases from fair trade cooperatives.
Keurig Green Mountain is proud of the role we’ve played in growing the fair trade movement, and we believe our business is one of many that has made this movement possible and remains critical to its continued success. We welcome ongoing and open dialogue about the innovations taking place around fair trade and suggest we all withhold strong judgment on these innovations until we can see and evaluate the outcomes of the pilots. We must all work together — and hold each another accountable — to further the fair trade model in a responsible way that meets our common goals of empowering producers and workers to achieve a better quality of life and keeping the movement flourishing for years to come.