10 Teachers to Visit Fair Trade Farms in Brazil
BENTONVILLE, ARK., October 1 – Warehouse retailer Sam’s Club is breaking a barrier today by converting its ground coffee to be Fair Trade Certified ™. The first nationally available, private-label Fair Trade Certified ground coffee developed to appeal to mainstream customers, Member’s Mark Premium Ground is expected to become a leader in national sales of Fair Trade Certified coffee.
Sam’s Club also announces that it has joined coffee roaster Café Bom Dia and TransFair USA to offer a summer 2008 weeklong study grant opportunity for junior high and high school teachers interested in teaching about Fair Trade. Teachers can enter the national essay contest and apply to win one of 10 expenses-paid trips to visit Fair Trade cooperatives, farms and communities in Brazil next summer. More details are available at www.samsclub.com/fairtrade.
Sam’s Club is launching its new coffee and announcing the teacher study grants on October 1 to celebrate the beginning of Fair Trade month activities in the United States.
“Fair Trade month is the right time to offer an exceptional value, high-quality coffee, one that we hope will introduce a new sustainable product to members who prefer ground coffee to whole bean, and may have not have tried our gourmet Fair Trade Certified ™ and USDA Organic coffees. We are able to direct our sourcing decisions to support small-scale farmers who employ sustainable farming and labor practices. This is such a win-win-win that converting our 39 ounce ground coffee to Fair Trade Certified ™ was a no-brainer,” explained Sam’s Club Executive Vice President of Merchandising Greg Spragg. Member’s Mark Premium Ground will retail at all 586 Sam’s Club locations in the United States.
Fair Trade certification guarantees small-scale farmers a minimum price for their coffee, links farmers and suppliers directly and creates the conditions for long-term sustainability. To be certified by TransFair USA, the only independent, third-party certifier of Fair Trade Certified products in the United States, farmers must meet international standards on environmentally-sustainable practices, community investment and working conditions.
TransFair USA President Paul Rice said, “"We are delighted that Sam’s Club is taking a leadership role by establishing Members’ Mark brand coffee as Fair Trade Certified ™. Sam’s Club’s significant commitment to fair trade shows that you can give consumers a great product while still paying farmers a fair wage and taking care of the environment. By embracing Fair Trade Certified coffee, Sam’s is helping Club members make a tremendous difference in the lives of thousands of family farmers."
Member’s Mark Premium Ground is a medium roast, 100 percent Arabica coffee. The coffee is grown and hand harvested by 3678 small-scale, independent farmers. After harvest, farmers sell their green coffee to democratically-run cooperatives for a set, guaranteed minimum price. The cooperatives combine micro-harvests from thousands of independent farmers to supply Member’s Mark with high-quality, Fair Trade Certified coffee.
Member’s Mark Premium Ground is roasted and packaged by Café Bom Dia, a Brazilian company with four generations of experience in the coffee industry. Café Bom Dia opened its vertically integrated production line to make the Fair Trade Certified coffee possible for SAM’S Club. “We knew that Brazil had the capacity to bring much more Fair Trade Certified ™ coffee to market, and Sam’s Club was looking for coffee to meet its sustainability and quality standards,” explained Joe Alcantara, President of Cafe Bom Dia’s North American operations. “Bringing them together was a natural fit.”
About Sam’s Club
Sam’s Club is a division of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., (NYSE:WMT). The first Sam’s Club opened its doors in Midwest City, Oklahoma in 1983. Today, Sam’s Club serves more than 47 million U.S. Members with locations nationwide, and in Brazil, Canada, China, Mexico and Puerto Rico. Sam’s Club offers exceptional values on merchandise and services for business owners and consumers. Online merchandise and club information is available at samsclub.com.
About Café Bom Dia
Café Bom Dia is a quality and innovation leader in Brazil’s coffee industry. Through four generations of family ownership, the company has promoted small-scale, independent farmers and the environmentally-sustainable methods behind its “tree to shelf” supply chain. Today, Café Bom Dia grows and produces the gourmet coffee brand Marques de Paiva. Through its zero carbon-emissions roasting facility and other environmentally-friendly practices, Café Bom Dia is a CARBON NEUTRAL COMPANY.
About TransFair USA
TransFair USA is the only independent, third-party certifier of Fair Trade Certified™ products in the United States. TransFair USA audits and certifies transactions between U.S. companies offering Fair Trade Certified products and their international suppliers to guarantee that the farmers and workers producing Fair Trade Certified goods were paid fair prices and wages. TransFair USA certifies coffee, tea, herbs, vanilla, cocoa, chocolate, rice, sugar and bananas. For more information, visit www.FairTradeCertified.org