Coffeemark is committed to providing our customers with coffees and teas that are certified fairly traded, organic and shade grown.
Fair Trade products follow the exact supply chain as they would in a conventional market with growers, importers, roasters, retailers and customers. The difference is that there is a worldwide organization, Fairtrade Labelling Organization International ( FLO ), that monitors and certifies that the trading practices within this supply chain follow and adhere to standards of fairness, transparency and accountability.
Fairtrade Canada is the Canadian body of FLO and they provide the certification of licensees and the independent auditing of licensees, along with promoting Fair Trade Certified products at the retail and consumer level. For more information regarding Fairtrade Canada visit their website at www.fairtrade.ca.
Coffeemark 's Fair Trade commitment helps small-scale farmers and their families by:
Guaranteeing a minimum price and premium paid for their coffee so as to meet the real costs of production and labour.
The guaranteed premium paid goes to villages for investment in education, healthcare and infrastructure.
Ensuring that there is no forced child labour.
Purchasing directly from small - scale farmer co-operatives lessens the number of and dependence on local intermediaries who often exploit the farmers.
Providing access to low or no interest credit for capital purchases.
Ensuring that Farmers have long term purchasing relationships.
Access to technical training and development of other skills for the cooperative's members and their families.
Coffeemark 's Fair Trade certified coffees and teas are also certified Organic:
Our coffees are grown in a manner that supports the sustainability of the environment , where no synthetic pesticides or chemicals are used.
All our Fair Trade coffees are independently inspected and monitored to ensure that the farming practices meet and are in compliance with organic standards. One of the largest and most reputable organization completing this process in the producing countries is OCIA ( Organic Crop Improvement Association. ) In Canada, our roaster has been certified by OCQV ( Organisme de certification Québec Vrai ).
Coffeemark 's Fair Trade certified coffees are also shade grown:
Traditionally all coffee trees were intolerant of direct sunlight and originated as shade grown.
Shade grown trees prefer the filtering of the direct sunlight by the canopy of larger trees. This allows the coffee beans to mature at a slower rate, increasing the natural sugars, thereby enhancing the flavour of the coffee.
In the 1970's a new "sun" tree was developed which provided a higher yield per tree, was easier to harvest, and produced best in direct sunlight. Consequently, millions of acres of rainforest have been stripped to make way for these "sun" trees, leading to soil; erosion and soil reduction.
"Sun" trees are highly susceptible to disease and insects and are highly dependant on large amounts of pesticides and chemical fertilizers. Next to tobacco, coffee uses more pesticides and chemicals than any other consumable product.
Shade grown coffee does not destroy the rainforest and the fallen leaves from the canopy provides mulch which supplies necessary nutrients and also helps retain moisture in the soil. The canopy also provides habitat for birds which offer natural insect control. Therefore, coffees that are shade grown do not require chemical fertilizers or pesticides.
Farmers also benefit from shade grown coffees as they are able to harvest other products produced from the trees providing the canopy, thereby developing income streams in addition to coffee.