Rogers Estate Coffees’ ‘Fairly Traded’ and ‘Community Aid’ Programs Pay Farmers and Workers More Than Industry Standards and Protect Nature in 10 Countries From Mexico to Rwanda

March 1, 2010

BRACKNELL, England, March 1 /PRNewswire/ — An increasing number of coffee lovers are not aware that their choice of coffee can impact thousands of people and nature in communities thousands of miles away.

There is an array of labels out there — each pledging to the consumer that their coffee is socially and environmentally responsible.

But how can you differentiate between fact and fiction? What do these labels actually mean for the farmers, workers and their families and the natural environment in these coffee growing regions?

Rogers Estate Coffees, the UK producer of gourmet coffee, has adopted its own standard: “Fairly Traded.” This program exceeds the goals of some labelling organisations such as Fair Trade and ensures that the workers who produce your coffee beans are given the payment they deserve. This is done through setting up long term contracts with single estate farmers, which enable these coffee farmers to treat their employees fairly, improve local ecosystems and make a decent profit.

Did you know that your coffee choice has a global impact?

Coffee affects an estimated half a billion people around the globe, from pickers to roasters to retailers. The low prices in the coffee market actually mean that coffee farmers are under great pressure and financial stress. Many must sell their coffee beans way below their cost of production in a desperate attempt to make a living. This leaves them greatly in debt and facilitates the increasing levels of poverty in the coffee growing regions of Central and South America. Worse still, the situation puts pressure on farmers to implement bad farming practices (such as the growing of illegal crops, poor maintenance of land and even abandoning and selling their farms) in an outcry to make money to support their families.

What are the Differences (and similarities) between Fairly Traded, Community Aid and Fair Trade?

Rogers Estate Coffees’ Community Aid /Fairly Traded coffee and Fair Trade both strive to help break the cycle of poverty in coffee-growing lands. Both programs promote long-term fixed contracts and direct imports from farmers to bypass middlemen.

However, not all coffee farms are small enough to be organized into cooperatives (a prerequisite for farmers participating in Fair Trade). Many large coffee farms with which Rogers Estate Coffees does business often hire the local, indigenous population to work on their farms. So, when importing coffee from a farm that is not small (and therefore not a member of a Fair Trade cooperative), it is impossible to get Fair Trade certificate for the coffee. But poverty is still a problem for the local community and the workers on the large farms.

The ‘Coffee Community Aid program’ extends Rogers Estate Coffees Fairly Traded promise and fills this void that cannot be addressed by Fair Trade. In a vow to tackle the appalling poverty in coffee farms, Community Aid turns “Fairly Traded” coffee into houses, schools and medical clinics for thousands of workers and their families — while preserving native plants and animals and restoring rainforest. This year, Rogers will invest $US 1 million in their Coffee Community Aid programme. Unlike other programs, the Rogers Family Co. ensures that all Community Aid funds go only to farmers, workers and their families for social or environmental projects that help break the cycle of poverty and improve the quality of life for the workers and their families.

From 2001 to 2007, 18 schools, 125 bathrooms, 119 housing units, 12 clinics, and 52 kitchens were constructed in communities in Mexico, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Panama, Rwanda, New Guinea, Sumatra, Ethiopia and Columbia via the Community Aid program.

To read more about Rogers Estate Coffees Community Aid visit: http://www.rogersestatecoffees.co.uk/cremapress/2010/03/fairer

Notes to editor:

Rogers Estate Coffees actually pay more for their coffee than Fair Trade — up to $1.40 per pound; (in some instances much more) which is substantially more than the average market price – thereby exceeding labelling organisations’ standards — to ensure a farm’s long-term viability.

About Rogers Estate Coffees

Rogers Estate Coffees is a UK subsidiary of Rogers Family Coffee Co., one of the largest family owned coffee roasters in the USA. . The Rogers Family Company supplies its “Responsibly Grown, Fairly Traded” gourmet coffee to discriminating customers worldwide. . The company prides itself on its Community Aid projects and the premium quality of its coffees. Visit http://www.rogersestatecoffees.co.uk/ to find out more.

    Contacts: Aimee Carmichael, Tel number: +44(0)1202-237135
    E-mail: aimee@rogersestatecoffees.co.uk

SOURCE Rogers Estate Coffees

Source: newswire

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