Our founders Mickey and Robbyn started out on Salt Spring Island as organic farmers, selling their harvest at the local market. Organic and sustainable farming is a cause that’s very near and dear to them.
Over the years, as we have learned the ins and outs of the global coffee business, we have taken part in fair trade certification programs, and have also pioneered our own approaches under a variety of titles and names. Throughout the lifespan of this company, being fair to farmers has been the cornerstone of everything we do.
Now Salt Spring Coffee has evolved one program to combine our social initiatives, in direct partnership with the coffee producers who supply our beans.
Today we have one program that combines our social initiatives in direct partnership with the coffee producers who supply our beans. It is called Fair to Farmer. All of the coffee in our Fair to Farmer program comes from one of two sources: certified IMO/Fair for Life certified and direct trade.
CERTIFIED IMO / FAIR FOR LIFE CERTIFIED
The Institute for Marketecology, or IMO, conducts rigorous audits as part of its Fair for Life certification. Fair for Life combines strict social and fair trade-standards with adaptability to local conditions. It ensures that human rights are guaranteed at every stage of production, that workers enjoy good and equitable working conditions, and that smallholder farmers receive a fair share. Fair trade improves the livelihood of thousands of farmers and workers by providing the means for community improvement projects.
Direct trade coffee is part of the Fair to Farmer program because we currently deal directly with two exceptional certified organic coffee farmers who are not audited by the primary third-party fair trade certification bodies, FLO-Cert or IMO/Fair for Life.
The two direct trade growers are Finca Los Pinos, Byron Corrales, in Nicaragua and the La Chacra D’Dago farm in Villa Rica, Peru. Members of our team personally visit these farmers and work with them to make improvements to their operations and in their communities. Including these growers and a direct-trade coffee component in the Fair to Farmer program allows us to create a truly fair trading relationship with the communities that supply our whole beans.
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