As the largest branded roaster of Fairtrade green beans in Australia, Grinders Coffee Roasters will continue its support for coffee farmers and communities this Fairtrade Fortnight (3-16 August), as it has done every day for the past eight years.
Since 2008, Grinders has sold more than 1.7 million kilograms of Fairtrade Coffee and generated over A$1.1 million to help support 844,311 Fairtrade farmers and their communities in 475 cooperatives from 31 countries across the world. This year, Grinders has partnered with Woolworths to help raise consumer awareness of the importance of Fairtrade in providing support for communities who need it most.
Said from Grinders General Manager Neale Wood, “Our close relationship with Fairtrade is very important to our commitment to leading a sustainable future for the coffee industry, and delivering better outcomes for coffee communities.
“Sustainability, particularly ethical sourcing and the environment, is of increasing importance to coffee consumers. Grinders Coffee is committed to playing its part in leading a sustainable future for the coffee industry, and building on its ongoing relationship with Fairtrade is a key part of this commitment.
“Like us, Woolworths is proud to be an ongoing supporter of Fairtrade Fortnight helping promote the importance and positive impact of fair trade, and is this year supporting the Buy Fair campaign with awareness-raising activities across all stores, online and in its Woolworths Fresh magazine that reaches more than 4 million people”.
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 the lack of infrastructure and basic social and community facilities.
Ronah Peve is a member of the Highland Organic Agriculture Cooperative (HOAC) in Papua New Guinea’s Eastern Highlands and works as a farmer and extension officer – traditionally a man’s job. She says, “In Papua New Guinea, coffee is something that men talk about, but I have been trying my best and now women in the village come to me for advice about caring for their coffee trees. They see it is not only a man’s job”.
For many members of HOAC secure housing is a significant issue. Traditionally homes are rebuilt every five years, so they remain strong, and local kunai grass is used for thatched roofs. However, the kunai grass is becoming increasingly difficult to find due to invasive weeds. Fairtrade funding was used to provide 12 sheets of iron roofing to 200 households, providing longer lasting and durable homes. One member of the cooperative states, “Our dream in the next five years is to sleep under an iron roofed ho use and to have power/electricity”, and Grinders is playing a key role in making this dream a reality.
Fairtrade Australia & New Zealand CEO Molly Harriss Olson says Grinders’ commitment has supported innovation in coffee-growing communities across Nicaragua, Ethiopia, East Timor and Papua New Guinea.
“More than $220,000 of Fairtrade premiums generated through Grinders sales has been invested specifically into innovative productivity and quality developments at origin,” says Harriss Olson. In addition, Grinders contributions continue to support coffee-growing communities by creating opportunities for new schools, fresh water projects and organic systems to prolong the lives of their coffee plants.
“We at Fairtrade are proud to have a long-standing partnership with Grinders, which not only produces award-winning coffee, but continues to be our biggest branded coffee label, committed to outstanding ethical supply chains”.
Consumers can help support Fairtrade famers and their communities by adding sustainability to their trolley this Fairtrade Fortnight, and every fortnight. The Grinders range of Fairtrade Organic coffee products includes 200g Ground packs of Espresso and Crema coffee (available in Coles), and 1kg bags of Espresso and Crema beans (Coles, Woolworths and Metcash). The range accounts for over 42 per cent of all Grinders grocery sales* and has earned a number of national awards, including a silver and bronze medal at 2017 & 2018 Sydney Royal Fine Food Show (Fairtrade Organic Crema beans, 2017 & 2018 – Latte and Plunger Coffee Categories).