Sustainability, particularly ethical sourcing and the environment, is of increasing importance to coffee consumers and society in general. At Grinders Coffee, we’re committed to playing our part in leading a sustainable future for the coffee industry and building on our ongoing relationship with Fairtrade is a key part of this commitment. Grinders is the largest branded roaster of Fairtrade green beans in Australia. Since 2010, we’ve generated over A$1,475,000 to support 844,311 Fairtrade farmers and their communities in 537 cooperatives from 30 countries across the world.
Fairtrade is an independent certification system that provides farmers and workers in developing countries with practical and technical support to grow their businesses and support their local communities, and a fair price – the Fairtrade Price – for their produce, helping protect them from damaging fluctuations in world market prices. They also receive an additional sum of money – the Fairtrade Premium – for investment in social, economic, and environmental development in their community, such as educational and medical facilities.
Whilst the specific challenges facing each coffee growing community are unique, many of the common challenges faced by farmers relate to a holistic approach to sustainability in their community.
For the small coffee-growing community of the Acropassi, Cooperative de Servicios Multiples, located in San Ignacio, north of Lima, Peru, the lasting support of Grinders Coffee, provided through the Fairtrade partnership, has enabled the cooperative of 505 small scale farmers to run education programs helping its members in the areas of sustainability and financial management. By learning the latest land management practices, the farmers have been able to improve the quality and productivity of their coffee crops and by collectively reducing their use of synthetic fertilisers, they have achieved organic certification for much of their coffee, which in turn has helped to deliver ongoing improvements to their standards of living.
Among those to benefit is Maria Cera, one of the cooperative’s 68 female farmers. “When I was a girl, there were no cooperatives. My parents did not have the resources for me study. That’s one of the things that has changed,” said Maria.
Fairtrade certified since 2001, Acropassi has been a long-standing partner with Fairtrade and Grinders Coffee, cultivating more than 1,500 hectares of high quality coffee plantations located between 1,100 and 1,800 metres above sea level. Getting to Acropassi requires a commitment to long windy and steep roads, that is reminiscent of a bygone time but the quality of the coffee, is second to none.
Becken Bauer, President of the cooperate’s Administration Committee, said “Our objective at the beginning was to improve quality … it was hard for producers to get good incomes… now it has improved. Thanks to all those people who created certifications and the benefits they can get from that and … thanks to our hard work, we have been able to overcome it.”
You can find out more about Grinders Coffee’s commitment to sustainability and our work with farmers and communities by visiting our website www.grinderscoffee.com.au.