Fair Trade

The coffee brewed daily in our dining halls and Blanchard Café is Certified Fair Trade and Organic coffee and is purchased from a local Massachusetts vendor that was the first to offer Certified Fair Trade coffee in the United States.  The company, Equal Exchange, was founded in 1986 and is a worker’s cooperative.  Fair trade is a trading partnership based on dialogue, transparency and respect that seeks greater equity in international trade. Fair Trade helps producers achieve a sustainable future on the basis of fair wages.

Uncommon Grounds, our coffee bar located in Blanchard Campus Center, serves Pierce Bros Coffee, located in Greenfield, Massachusetts.   All of the coffee beans they use are 100% Fair Trade Certified and 100% Certified Organic.  Since 1994, the Pierce Brothers have been blending only shade-grown organic Arabica beans, chosen from the world’s premier coffee regions. 

Environmental commitment core values of Pierce Bros Coffee that support their business philosophy and practices:

  • Fair Trade Certified Means Quality of Life for Farming Families
    o When you buy Fair Trade products, it helps ensure that family farmers around the world can stay on their land, put food on the table, and keep their kids in school.
  • Environmental Stewardship
    o Fair Trade farmers grow their crops in harmony with nature and without the use of harmful chemicals.  The farmers care for this land like a member of the family, producing some of the healthiest and most environmentally friendly food products.
  • Fair Trade Organic Provides Unequaled Quality & Flavor
    o Some of the most bio-diverse farming eco-systems are supported by Fair Trade organizations.  Organic growing at high altitudes encourages the coffee tree to fulfill its natural potential and hand picking only the ripe beans produces the very best flavor.  These eco-friendly practices help to sustain the land for future generations.
  • Shade-Grown Coffee Comes From Bird-Friendly Farms
    o The rampant destruction of tropical rain forests has had d devastating effect on the habitat of many species of migratory birds in Central and South America. 
    o Fair Trade coffee growers offer a home to these birds in the canopy of shade trees that protects their farms. 
    o By drinking shade-grown, organic coffee, you can help stop deforestation, and in turn help fight against global warming

Hot Air Roasting Technique

Their unique “hot air” roasting technique eliminates burned chaff for the ultimate in flavor, aroma, and richness.   Their convection hot air roasting machine floats each bean on a bed of hot air, which whisks away the chaff and eliminates any burned particles.  The beans are tossed continuously in the hot air hence evenly roasting on all sides and guaranteeing a consistent roast every time.  They are know as
“THE CLEAN BEAN” coffee roasters and roast their coffee daily in small batches to ensure the highest in quality and freshness.

All of Pierce Brothers decaf coffee is water processed and is 100% chemical free.   First, the beans are cleaned and soaked in water that is partially saturated with natural coffee solids, so the flavor in the beans will not be removed, but the caffeine will.  The water then passes through a carbon filter that traps the caffeine.  The now caffeine-free, flavor-charged water flows back to the beans to remove more caffeine.  This process continues repeatedly for approximately 8 hours until the beans are 99.9% caffeine-free.

For more information about Pierce Brothers Coffee go to the following Web site:  www.piercebroscoffee.com.

Fair Trade certified coffee contributes to sustainable development by offering better trading conditions to, and securing the rights of, marginalized producers and workers - especially in the South.

Key elements of fair trade include:

  • Creating opportunities for economically disadvantaged producers
    Fair Trade is a strategy for poverty alleviation and sustainable development. Its purpose is to create opportunities for producers who have been economically disadvantaged or marginalized by the conventional trading system.
  • Transparency and accountability
    Fair Trade involves transparent management and commercial relations to deal fairly and respectfully with trading partners. 
  • Promoting independence
    Fair Trade is a means to develop producers' independence. Fair Trade relationships provide continuity, during which producers and their marketing organizations can improve their management skills and their access to new markets.   
  • Payment of a fair price
    A fair price is one that has been agreed through dialogue and participation, which provides fair pay to the producers and can also be sustained by the market. Fair pay means provision of socially acceptable remuneration (in the local context) considered by producers themselves to be fair, and which takes into account the principle of equal pay for equal work by women and men. Fair Trade buyers, importers and intermediaries ensure prompt payment to their producers and other partners and, whenever possible, help producers with access to pre-harvest or pre-production financing (advance payments).   
  • Gender Equity
    Fair Trade means that women's work is properly valued and rewarded. Women are always paid for their contribution to the production process and are empowered in their organizations. 
  • Decent conditions of work
    Fair Trade means a safe and healthy working environment for producers. The participation of children (if any) does not adversely affect their well-being, security, educational requirements and need for play and conforms to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child as well as the law and norms in the local context.   
  • Respect for the environment
    As a strategy for sustainable development, Fair Trade requires a strategy that enables economic activity without environmental degradation; that maximizes the use of raw materials and packaging from sustainable sources, minimizes the pollution caused by transportation, minimizes waste and energy consumption and promotes the use of technology that respects the environment.   
  • Promoting Fairer Trade
    Fair Trade is more than just trading: it proves that greater justice in world trade is possible. It highlights the need for change in the rules and practice of conventional trade and shows how a successful business can also put people first.

For more information on Fair Trade, go to the World Fair Trade Organization Web site.