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04/08

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Junior High and High School Teachers Win Weeklong Trip to Study Fair Trade Certified ™ Coffee Market in Brazil

Sam’s Club, TransFair USA and Café Bom Dia Sponsoring Weeklong Study in an Effort to Expand Fair Trade Awareness

CORAL GABLES, FLA, MARCH 17 – Ten junior high and high school teachers have won a national study grant competition sponsored by warehouse retailer Sam’s Club, non-profit TransFair USA and coffee roaster Café Bom Dia. The ten teachers will spend a week in Brazil this summer, studying how Fair Trade Certified ™ standards improve environmental, economic and social conditions for coffee farmers and their families. The teachers are:

Nicole Fairchild, Pocono Mountain West Junior High School, Swiftwater PA

  • Jennifer Eastman-Miller, Venice Middle School, Sarasota FL
  • Aimee Finney, Stephen F. Austin High School, Austin TX
  • Kent Day, Beveridge Magnet Middle School, Omaha NE
  • Margaret Negrelli, Brentwood High School, Huntington Station NY
  • Mary Brebner, Summit Parkway Middle School, Columbia SC
  • Barbara Simon-Waters, East Carteret High School, Morehead City NC
  • Ellen Georgi, Urbana Middle School, Adamstown MD
  • Lorelei Clark, Thurgood Marshall High School, Houston TX
  • Stephanie Phillips, Waterloo Elementary School (Grades 5-8th), Lodi, CA

Fair Trade Certified ™ coffee is grown by family farmers who are paid a minimum, guaranteed harvest price in exchange for meeting strict standards on land, water and chemical use, as well as investing in community projects and prohibiting child labor. Sam’s Club, TransFair USA and Café Bom Dia sponsored the national essay competition last October to expand awareness of how consumers can make a positive difference by choosing Fair Trade Certified coffee.

Sponsoring the Study Grant was a natural fit for Sam’s Club, which has offered Fair Trade Certified coffee since 2006, when it joined Café Bom Dia in launching the gourmet Member’s Mark by Marques de Paiva coffee. In 2007, Sam’s Club converted its Member’s Mark Premium Ground coffee to Fair Trade Certified. Greg Spragg, Executive Vice President of Merchandising at Sam's Club, explained how sponsoring the weeklong study grant fits with the retailer’s priorities on sustainability. “The study grant creates a tangible moment to show how a simple switch, like changing the coffee in your home, at school or in your office, can make a measurable difference for family farmers and the environment.”

TransFair USA is the only third-party certifier of Fair Trade products in the United States. “People begin to support Fair Trade Certified coffee when they learn how its standards preserve natural habitats, limit the use of chemicals, and give family farmers a fair price. But when someone visits the farms and meets the families, they go from simply being supportive to becoming personally invested in using their voice to make a difference,” explained Paul Rice, CEO of TransFair USA.

Study Grant sponsor Café Bom Dia is a fourth-generation family-owned coffee company based in Brazil. “We source our Fair Trade Certified coffee from more than 3700 family farmers in Brazil, who we consider to be an extended part of our own family. We are proud to share their remarkable stories with the winning teachers and play our part to offer coffee that makes a positive difference for the environment and farming communities,” offered Joe Alcantara, president of North American operations for Café Bom Dia.

In addition to sourcing ethically and environmentally-friendly coffee, Café Bom Dia has measured, reduced and offset emissions at its state of the art facility in Brazil to become the world’s first CARBON NEUTRAL coffee roaster.

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