Tag Archives: certifications

170. What that study really said

The study on the economic impacts of Fair Trade and organic certifications that appeared in a recent issue of Ecological Economics has prompted some good, informed discussion, but also its share of distortion.  After carefully reading (and re-reading) the study, here is my take on it as someone who works with both certified and non-certified […]

169. What we missed in the furor over Fair Trade

Last week, articles in mainstream and industry media outlets on the economic impacts of Fair Trade on smallholder farmers caused something of a furor among coffee cognoscenti.  The most serious discussion seemed to revolve around this study published in Ecological Economics.  Unfortunately, in the squabble over certifications most people missed what was easily the most […]

168. What do you (think you) know about sustainability?

At last month’s SCAA Symposium, we were invited to reexamine our assumptions about sustainability in coffee — what we think we know about the issue that may not be true.  At the time, I thought that exercise produced some provocative responses.  And then I read a recent study on the impacts of organic and Fair […]

145. Counter Culture announces 5 de junio single-origin offering

Counter Culture Coffee on Friday announced it is now offering a single-origin, Direct Trade Certified coffee from 5 de junio, a cooperative participating in our CAFE Livelihoods project.  While this may not be Earth-shaking news in the United States, it represents the culmination of years of hard work in a handful of coffee communities in […]

143. Santa Adelaida – Sustainability pioneers

Santa Adelaida has been committed to principles of environmental sustainability since it began growing shade coffee in 1980.  So when a local NGO suggested in 1992 that the organization’s members begin farming organically, it was a vision closely aligned with Santa Adelaida’s own.  That year, its members began the transition to organic farming practices with […]

91. The future of Fair Trade

I have published some critiques of Fair Trade Certification here in recent weeks, and have gotten some thoughtful and even-minded pushback about it both online and off. I feel compelled, as they say in the U.S. Congress, to “revise and extend my remarks” about Fair Trade. In so doing, I will turn for help to one of the great parliamentarians of the 20th century, and a small group of allies working to shape Fair Trade in the 21st.

90. Fair Trade Certification in the news, unfortunately

Last week, the Seattle Times published an article on Direct Trade that did not reflect particularly well on Fair Trade Certification. Then a bad moment for Fair Trade was made worse when Sprudge cherry-picked the worst lines of the article, which had more than its share of unfortunate content.