This week Fair Trade USA celebrated its #JustOneCup campaign to aid coffee farmers amid an unprecedented coffee crisis as the pandemic continues. The campaign dominated by retailers and their private brands highlights commitments by 8 of its business partners that bring additional Fair Trade Certified coffee to market and invites people to choose fair on International Coffee Day, Sept. 29.

With coffee prices at 13-year lows, well below the cost of production in most countries, and the pandemic exacerbating challenges due to labor shortages and decreased demand, fair trade is needed as a social safety net now more than ever. It is the only mainstream model that guarantees a minimum price for producers and delivers additional funds per pound of coffee for producers to use at their discretion. In 2019 alone, producers earned a record $37 million in additional income from fair trade coffee purchases through the Community Development Funds, which have been made available for immediate emergency COVID-19 relief efforts.

A survey conducted by Fair Trade U.S.A. to farmers across 22 countries found that 67% saw a decrease in demand for their products and 74% reported income loss as a direct result of the pandemic.

“We need coffee to get us through this pandemic, but coffee needs us more right now,” said Paul Rice, president and CEO of Fair Trade U.S.A. “Wherever they are in the world, we invite people to celebrate with us at home on International Coffee Day and raise a mug of fair trade coffee. A simple choice for #JustOneCup can truly change the lives of farmers for the better. The additional funds coffee producers earn on top of the minimum price are made possible by consumer demand for Fair Trade Certified coffee and the support of Fair Trade USA’s retail and business partners. This year, Fair Trade U.S.A. commends the significant strides of the following partners in fulfilling or scaling up their commitments to fair trade, sustainability and traceable sourcing in collaboration with the ongoing ​Sustainable Coffee Challenge.”

Whole Foods: By the end of this year, all Whole Foods Market and 365 by Whole Foods Market private brand packaged coffee will be ethically sourced and certified according to approved third party standards, including Fair Trade U.S.A.’s certification.

Kroger: Through its Simple Truth private brand, Kroger has already fulfilled its Sustainable Coffee Challenge commitment to sourcing 100% Fair Trade Certified coffee. Currently, Kroger is adding new products and new coffee-growing regions—including those in the US— that will become certified in the coming years. Through fair trade, Simple Truth has supported communities in more than 6 countries across the world, which have been able to invest in healthcare, education and scholarships, calamity funds, feeding programs, waste management infrastructure, replanting and more.

Albertsons Companies: As of Aug. 4, 100% of Albertsons Companies’ private brand O Organics coffee is now certified by Fair Trade U.S.A. O Organics Fair Trade Certified coffee has generated more than $2.5 million in Community Development Funds since the program started.

Walmart: By the end of this year, Walmart will work with suppliers to source certified, sustainably grown coffee for 100% of its private brand products and invest in the long-term viability of coffee farming through direct programs with growers. Currently, 89% of their private brand Sam’s Club coffee is Fair Trade Certified. In 2019, sales of Fair Trade Certified coffee at Walmart generated $3.5 million for workers through Community Development Funds.

Target: By 2022, 100% of Target’s Archer Farms private brand coffee in both bags and pods will be certified by Fair Trade U.S.A. or another third-party standard. In 2019, sales of Fair Trade Certified coffee at Target generated $336 thousand for workers through Community Development Funds.

Williams Sonoma: The company met its commitment to 100% Fair Trade Certified private brand coffee by the beginning of this year.

Prince and Spring by Boxed: 100% of the retailer’s private brand coffee is Fair Trade Certified. Purchases of Prince and Spring have generated more than $50 thousand in Community Development Funds for farmers since the program launched in 2018.

Keurig Dr Pepper: Last year, Keurig was named the largest buyer of Fair Trade coffee in the world for the tenth consecutive year and is on track to achieve its pledge to responsibly source 100% of its coffee and improve the lives of 1 million people in its supply chain by 2020. It is committed to using the power of business to brew a better world and has integrated social responsibility into all aspects of their business—from improving the lives of coffee farmers to caring for the earth and local communities. Since 2001, Keurig has contributed $96 million to workers through Community Development Funds.

My Private Brand Virtual Sustainability Summit

October 15, 2020

To learn more about Fairtrade USA and sustainability join us for the My Private Brand Virtual Sustainability Summit, October 15, 2020. Paul Rice, President & CEO, will present and Sarah Binion, Sr. Director Impact, Research, and Learning will moderate a roundtable.