Fair World Project compares trading practices of coffee roasters

Fair World Project is keeping with its promise to protect fair trade with the release of its latest report on the ethical practices of 19 leading American roasters. Initially launched through the Organic Consumers Association in 2010, Fair World Project exists to protect fair trade in commerce, particularly regarding its misuse for PR purposes. Fair World Project ranked the roasters on whether they were backed up by a third-party audit, what their history and organisational structure revealed about their commitment to fair trade, the extent they focus on small-scale farmers and their financial transparency among other criteria.
In the report’s findings Starbucks, Green Mountain and Millstone Coffee were the lowest ranking roasters, scoring just one out of five stars in a number of categories. Millstone faired the worst in the report with Fair World Project claiming, “Millstone has demonstrated no real commitment to sustainability or the principles of fair trade.” According to the report, “Starbucks makes claims of sustainability and ethics that are primarily backed up by their own inadequate CAFÉ Practices. In addition, they have been implicated in lobbying against farmers when advocating for free trade agreements such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership.” Green Mountain Coffee Roasters/Keurig Green Mountain also received bad reviews with the report claiming, “Keurig has made a commitment to principles of fair trade, though still has much room for improvement in coffee sourcing and overall commitment to social and environmental sustainability. In terms of company practices, until they can take a stand in favour of fair trading policies rather than unfair free trade, they should be avoided.”
The top scoring roasters were Equal Exchange, Just Coffee Cooperative, Just Us! Coffee Roasters Co-op and Peace Coffee.

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