The coffee industry has a tremendous impact (positive and negative) on the environment, social equity and peace in coffee growing regions. While certifications are fundamental to our work, our practices often go far beyond the standards that Fair Trade & Organic Certification have set. That said, we believe in supporting the work that certifying organizations do to raise awareness and hold the coffee industry accountable. When you see certification labels on our packages – here’s what they mean:
The international FAIRTRADE Mark appears on over 27,000 products sold in more than 120 countries. When you buy products with the international FAIRTRADE Mark, you make a positive difference for small-scale farmers and workers around the world. Products bearing the Mark meet the social, economic and environmental standards set by Fairtrade.
The international FAIRTRADE Mark is backed by:
- The internationally-agreed Fairtrade Standards
- Strong producer involvement in all decision-making
- An independent certification system through FLO-CERT
- A global network offering support to producers
Organic agriculture produces products using methods that preserve the environment and avoid most synthetic materials, such as pesticides and antibiotics. USDA organic standards describe how farmers grow crops and raise livestock and which materials they may use.
Organic farmers, ranchers, and food processors follow a defined set of standards to produce organic food and fiber. Congress described general organic principles in the Organic Foods Production Act, and the USDA defines specific organic standards. These standards cover the product from farm to table, including soil and water quality, pest control, livestock practices, and rules for food additives.
Organic farms and processors:
- Preserve natural resources and biodiversity
- Support animal health and welfare
- Provide access to the outdoors so that animals can exercise their natural behaviors
- Only use approved materials
- Do not use genetically modified ingredients
- Receive annual onsite inspections
- Separate organic food from non-organic food
The Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center has developed a certification for coffee that meet their strict standards – coffee that is 100% organic and shade-grown. They call it Bird Friendly Coffee.
Their seal of approval ensures tropical “agroforests” are preserved and migratory birds find a healthy haven when they travel from your backyard to faraway farms producing the beans you enjoy every morning.
B Corps are leading a global movement of people using business as force for good. They use the power of business to solve social and environmental problems. B Corps are for-profit companies certified by the nonprofit B Lab to meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency.
Thanksgiving Coffee is proud to add our signature to the B Corp Declaration of Interdependence:
We envision a global economy that uses business as a force for good. This economy is comprised of a new type of corporation – the B Corporation – which is purpose-driven and creates benefit for all stakeholders, not just shareholders.
As B Corporations and leaders of this emerging economy, we believe:
- That we must be the change we seek in the world.
- That all business ought to be conducted as if people & place mattered.
- That, through their products, practices, and profits, businesses should aspire to do no harm & benefit all.
- To do so requires that we act with the understanding that we are each dependent upon another & thus responsible for each other & future generations.
Read more about our work in Sustainability
Women we’ve met on buying trips to Central America and Africa live in remote towns and villages without running, potable water or electricity. Many women don’t have access to health care, marry young, and have children soon after. They perform much of the physical labor required to grow and harvest coffee, but have almost no influence on decisions about how family income is spent. They are typically uneducated, impoverished and disconnected from resources.
Thanksgiving Coffee began to address these issues in two ways…
Follow these instructions to make the best cup of coffee possible with a single cup brewer, and you’ll save money and the environment while you’re at it! Download and print the brewing guide and post next to your single-cup coffeemaker for quick reference in your home or office.
Thanksgiving Coffee Company has just renewed our commitment to help protect the last remaining 786 mountain gorillas, support the people of Rwanda, as well as offer a great coffee.