News: The Fair Trade Coffee Company opens for business

Fair Trade Coffee Company
The first café in Sydney, and possibly Australia, to sell and serve only fair trade coffee will celebrate with an official opening on Thursday August 24 at 7:00 pm.

“Fair Trade helps growers in the third world pay for their own health care and educate their kids without being dependant on charity.” says Roger O’Halloran, ED of Palms Australia. Palms places volunteers to meet requests of communities to reduce poverty through skill exchange. Any profits from the cafe will assist that program in coffee-producing countries.

Palms did significant research to get the best coffee. “We knew that importers could get certified fair trade coffee from cooperatives returning a fair price for the labour of those who grow the coffee beans. When blind tests by connoisseurs consistently identified Sacred Ground as being as good as any coffee they had tasted, why would we sell anything else?”

Sacred Grounds is an organic blend from East Timor, Papua New Guinea and Peru, freshly roasted in Chippendale. A free cup to compare your taste buds to the connoisseurs is available for everyone who comes to the opening.

Mr. O’Halloran also spoke of some confusion between fair trade and “so called” free trade. “Fair trade is about just wages for workers in the third world. Free Trade seeks more markets for the products of already advantaged countries and can have the effect of destroying fledgling industries in smaller economies.”

“Coffee producers under contract to the big companies get less than five cents per cup. It’s hard to be happy about that when coffee is $3.00 per cup. To pay them fairly only requires two or three cents more to go in their direction, so we won’t even need to pass that on to consumers.”

Look for this symbol when buying coffee
“The café will not only assist to provide growers in third world countries with a living wage, but enlighten consumers about the broader issues and circumstances of the communities where the coffee is grown”, Mr. O’Halloran said. Posters and writing on the walls of the café will make the message clear and help to promote discussion by patrons on similar local and global justice issues.

“Great espresso coffee is all the more satisfying when you know that you have not exploited somebody else to get it. So come along on to 33 Glebe Point Road on Thursday night and find out about the strict certification process undertaken before the Fair Trade label is applied.”

Visit the Fair Trade Coffee Company online.

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There is both a moral and social responsibility attaching to these experiences of foreign cultures,
and if nothing awakens in our own soul, making claims and demands upon us,
calling us to change the way we live, then we have been merely parasites and invaders. - David Tacey