At Granville Island Coffee Company, all our beans come from Fair Trade certified producers. The principles of Fair Trade align with our company’s values of integrity and sustainability. It’s important to us that everyone we work with is treated with equality and respect. It’s equally important to us that the coffee beans and other materials we use are produced with care for the sustainability of our Earth.
We strive to make ethical choices in everything we do, and starting with Fair Trade certified coffee beans is one of the ways we succeed.
WHAT IS FAIR TRADE?
Millions of people around the world are involved in the production of coffee. They depend on the world coffee markets to earn a living and provide for themselves, their families, and their communities. Most of these people live in vulnerable parts of the world that have historically been economically disadvantaged. The concept of Fair Trade was introduced to empower these people and to ensure that they are fairly compensated for their labours.
The world coffee markets are volatile, and the price can raise or lower dramatically in a short time. The principles of Fair Trade protect producers from these fluctuating prices by ensuring they receive a set minimum price for their coffee – no matter how low the market price might be. This enables producers to carry on with their work knowing that they have some financial security, bringing stability to their businesses, as well as to the lives of their workers.
Producers also receive a ‘Fair Trade Premium’, which is money that is to be used to improve their businesses and their communities. Fair Trade Premiums have been used to improve education, to build health facilities, to build better housing for workers, to buy agricultural equipment, etc.
To qualify for Fair Trade certification, producers must agree to abide by the standards set by the Fair Trade organisation. These standards include democratic decision making, the use of sustainable environmental practices, and adherence to international labour rules – such as no forced or child labour.
"Fairtrade as a certification is much more than merely an environmental certification, it is the only and best ethical and social certification that really ensures social and environmental, ethical and economic impact, and therefore human impact."
Coffee farmer, CoopeAgri, Costa Rica
Ultimately, Fair Trade is about respect – respect for each other, respect for the environment, and respect for the work it takes to produce a quality product. People want to be able to take care of themselves, their families, and their communities. When people work hard and are fairly compensated for that work, their pride and self-respect carry through to everything else they do. Fair Trade standards ensure that workers will not be taken advantage of, mistreated, or short-changed in any way.
Fair Trade standards also ensure that the work will be carried out with sustainability for the environment in mind, ending harmful farming practices that destroy ecosystems and leave the environment barren for future generations.
Fair Trade is simply one way of helping to make the world a better place.