Our organizational values include a belief that sustainability and strong communities are a basic requirement for positive international development. As a company, one of the ways that we put these values into action is by purchasing the majority of our coffee from Fair Trade suppliers. Fair Trade products like our Medium Reserve and Dark roast coffees are more expensive because it includes a premium that is paid to the cooperatives that we work with, which they use to fund social programs like education, healthcare and additional income for their member farmers.
Fair trade is more than a cash transfer program, however. The vision includes promoting transparency and respect as well, whereby all participants are aware of and benefit from market pricing in developed nations. The goal is to set the conditions for sustainable development by improving trading conditions for otherwise marginalized farmers or workers, in the process eliminating the need for less efficient international aid or domestic charities. Farmers can plan harvests and invest in equipment or improved growing methods more easily when they can expect prices to remain above a floor (which fairtrade provides) along with a certain degree of stability (which fairtrade also provides). That lowers their reliance on debt and boosts their productivity, which assists farmers as well as everyone else in the supply chain from roasters like Cafe Jose to customers.
Cafe Jose imports mainly fair trade coffee from its Costa Rican suppliers. Our suppliers have certified their coffee with Fair Trade International, which reports and audits fair trade purchases made by roasters such as Cafe Jose. Despite the additional fair trade premium we pay per pound of coffee imported, we pass as little of the fair trade premium on to our customers as possible. We believe that by providing competitively priced coffee to our retail and wholesale customers that’s delicious, competitively priced and ethically sourced, the good we do will return to us in spades.
When you support fair trade practices by buying Cafe Jose fair trade coffees, each coffee bag that you purchase has a direct impact on coffee farmers’ livelihoods as well as the communities where they live.