Fair Trade Month
Fair Trade Month has come to a close, and we wanted to take the time to acknowledge the fair trade mark. There are many different aspects of the fair trade certification, and we want to share with you what it means to us!
There are many different types of certifications in the world of fair trade, but we chose ours for a very specific reason. Fair Trade International (FLO) has a strict set of standards that must be followed in order to be a certified part of the organization. While every fair trade certification has a set of rules, our research found FLO to be a leader in the industry: they set their standards higher, and continually challenge others in the community.
Thanksgiving Coffee History in Fair Trade
After Paul’s trip to Nicaragua in 1985, Thanksgiving Coffee Company took an important turn. When Paul realized how the coffee industry was affecting farmers and communities in Nicaragua and around the world, he decided it was time to make a change.
In 1999, we signed up with TransFair USA (now called Fair Trade USA), the only available certification at the time. We were the second company to sign up for this fair trade certification, and it was just one of the beginning steps toward “a just cup.”
In 2012, Fair Trade USA (FTUSA, originally TransFair USA) made some changes that we did not agree with, and we decided to make the change to Fair Trade International (FLO). At that time, FTUSA made the decision to allow larger coffee plantations to be certified. A move that may make sense in theory, but one that could hurt many of the smaller family coffee farms. We made the switch, and are honored to be a part of the FLO community now.
You can read more about the differences between FTUSA and FLO at this website: www.fairworldproject.org
Beyond Fair Trade
While fair trade certification is a vital part of Thanksgiving Coffee, there is so much more we do. Here are two more of the important certifications that we’ve acquired over the years:
B Corp Certification
The B Corps movement is people using business as force for good. They use the power of business to solve social and environmental problems all over the world. B Corporations are for-profit companies that meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency.
Smithsonian Bird-Friendly Coffee
The “Bird-Friendly Coffee” certification was started by the The Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center. The strict standards for this certification are that the beans be 100% certified organic, as well as shade-grown. The Smithsonian seal ensures tropical “agroforests” are preserved for migratory birds to find a haven when they travel. From your backyard to faraway farms, the Bird-Friendly certification provides a much needed habitat for these birds.
Pictured Below: The coffee farm that supplies the beans for our SongBird Guatemalan.
Celebrating Fair Trade Month
How can you join in on the mission? There are so many ways! And not just during October, but throughout the year. One of the best ways to participate in the fair trade community is simply by purchasing fair trade products. There are thousands of amazing brands out there that are committed to creating goods that that do good.
Another way to celebrate is by sharing the love! Log onto your favorite social media network, and help brands promote their product. Follow Fair Trade International on Facebook and Instagram to find shareable content.
Not sure what fair trade coffee is right for you? Take a look at the coffee selector on our website to learn about the different roasts available.
Happy Fair Trade Month from Thanksgiving Coffee!