Our Fairtrade/Organic Commitment

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  • We’ve been roasting Fairtrade Organic coffee since we began in 2005 in conjunction with Trade Aid.
  • We began using Fairtrade beans, simply because we saw it as a better way to buy beans and a better way to do business.
  • We always use organic beans when we can, as coffee is the world’s most sprayed food crop.
  • For many years we were 100% Fairtrade and Organic and we never put a non Fairtrade or non Organic bean through our roaster. However a little while ago our supply of a particular bean dried up. The suppliers had lost their Fairtrade status. (This was not because they had started using deadly sprays or were no longer distributing their income fairly but because they had filled out the forms wrongly.) This bean was a small but crucial part of our best selling blend. We tried substituting other beans. It didn’t work. We had a dilemma on our hands. Should we compromise our quality or should we use a non organic non Fairtrade bean?
    In the end we opted to use a non Fairtrade bean as it was only about 10% of the blend but it was a hard decision and there was much wailing and knashing of teeth. We have now found another suppler of genuine Organic Fairtrade beans from this source . However, in our quest to replace this bean we discovered some stunning Tanzanian beans that are not Fairtrade or organic but we love them so much we have decided to carry them anyway. They are not in any of our blends but you can purchase them as a single origin.
  • All our Fairtrade green beans are sourced from 100% certified Fairtrade Organic sources.

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Some Facts

Here are some specific facts relating to Kush Coffee in the Fairtrade area and more particularly how what we do differs from the basic requirements that those who use the FLO logo must meet, we of course meet these as well.

  • We pay a 2% premium to Fairtrade ANZ on top of the higher costs of using Fairtrade Organic beans.
  • We pre-finance green bean shipments up to 60% when required so that the growers receive a fund up front which crucially for them means they can avoid using moneylenders to sustain them until the annual harvest of their beans has taken place.
  • We support tree-planting schemes in conjunction with Trade Aid. We now know that just paying growers a better price for their coffee is not enough to ensure they have a viable income in the future as their trees are deteriorating and yields are dropping each year.
  • In the future we aim to buy direct from the growers and to be able to support these people on an individual basis.
  • Unlike some of the multi nationals in coffee, we like to build long term trading relationships with the co-ops we buy from. We don’t just buy at the best price we can get each time, nor do we jump around and buy from different people to do this. This means we ensure a stable income for the coffee growers whose coffee we buy and we in turn build good working relationships with them, not based solely on a kilo price. We believe this results in better quality beans coming our way and a stable dependable cash flow for growers.
  • We take the view our idea of Fairtrade is fluid and needs to evolve as we do. This means doing the minimum standards that relate to the FLO label and then expanding the idea of Fairtrade to achieve more for the growers. From our long-term trading partnerships with growers, we now understand better ways to ensure their farming is more sustainable in the future. Replanting schemes are crucial to increase both quality and yields. This all has a flow-on effect to growers and us. In the future we’ll end up with even better quality beans and growers will have better yields and hence better financial gains for all.
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    Our Logo and Quality

    We developed our logo as an assurance of quality and to encompass everything that we as a company mean when we use the term Fairtrade. We purchase our green beans on flavour profile, not price. We guarantee to never use cheap beans as a filler or base bean as coffee roasters like to call them. We always strive to buy shade-grown beans where possible as these are better quality coffees and much friendlier to the environment.
    Like other coffees, prices for Fairtrade vary depending on quality and other factors and we will always try to find the very best. We’re a boutique wholly New Zealand owned and run business, roasting in small batches to create beautifully balanced distinctive blends. Our master roaster has over 10 years’ experience of roasting and blending. Quality coffees made from quality beans guaranteed.

    What is Fairtrade certification?

    Fairtrade and organic certification lets you know about the origins of a product. Fairtrade certified products come from all over the world, but have much in common. Farmers of Fairtrade products receive a fair price, and a social premium and their communities and the environment benefit as well.

    Fairtrade certified coffee directly supports a better life for farming families in coffee producing countries through: fair prices, community development, environmental stewardship, education of farmers and their children

    Fairtrade farmers market their own harvests through co-operatives they have set up, learning how to manage their businesses and compete in the global marketplace. Receiving a fair price for their harvest allows these farmers to invest in their families’ healthcare and education, reinvest in quality coffee farming methods and protect the environment. This empowerment lifts farming families from poverty through trade, not aid, creating a more equitable and sustainable model of international trade that benefits producers, consumers, the industry and the Earth.

    The Fairtrade label guarantees:

  • Fair price: Family farmers receive fair prices for their harvest, and premiums specifically earmarked for community development projects; even higher premiums are given for certified organic products. Farmer organisations are also eligible for pre-harvest credit.
  • Fair labour conditions: Workers on fair trade farms enjoy freedom of association, safe working conditions and fair wages. Forced child labour is strictly prohibited.
  • Environmental sustainability: Harmful agrochemicals and GMOs are strictly prohibited in favour of environmentally sustainable farming methods that protect farmers’ health and preserve valuable ecosystems for future generations. Fairtrade farmers protect the land and wildlife habitat by intercropping plant species to improve soil fertility and protect against erosion. Stringent environmental management programs, including water conservation, proper waste disposal and prohibitions on planting in protected areas further encourage environmental stewardship
  • Democratic and transparent organisations: Fairtrade farmers and farm workers decide how to invest Fairtrade revenues, and proof of a democratic process is required.
  • Community development: Fair trade farmers and workers invest Fairtrade premiums in social and business development projects like scholarship programs, healthcare services and quality improvement training.
  • Direct trade: Importers purchase from Fairtrade producer groups as directly as possible, eliminating unnecessary middlemen and empowering farmers to develop the business capacity needed to compete in the global marketplace.

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