A good way to effect change on the management of a grocery store or café is to send a brief personal letter to them with a clear definition of who you are, what you are asking, and the precise reason for your action. Tell the management how selling Fair Trade products will benefit their company by keeping you as a customer and attach information about Fair Trade and how they can get a hold of Fair Trade certified products
I am a customer of yours, concerned about the social and environmental impacts of my consumer choices. As I enjoy buying coffee here, I want to encourage you to carry Fair Trade Certified coffee with the Fair Trade USA independently monitored label. It is my intention to purchase it over other brands.
Many coffee farmers receive market payments for their coffee which are less than the costs of production, forcing them into a cycle of poverty and debt. Intensive coffee farming also leads to environmental problems, such as deforestation; the Smithsonian Institute has documented that the eradication of the natural environment of songbirds is contributing to their extinction. Industrial coffee farming also contributes to the contamination of air and water through pesticide poisoning.
Fair Trade works to correct these imbalances by guaranteeing a minimum wage for the small producers' harvest, as well as encouraging the cultivation of coffee without the use of pesticides. With the profits generated from receiving a fair wage, coffee growers are able to invest in such areas as health, education and environmental protection.
For these reasons, I and many other like-minded consumers are now choosing Fair Trade Certified coffee over other brands. Independent surveys show that 8 out of 10 consumers would rather purchase a product associated with a cause they believe in. There is currently a consumer demand campaign in our town asking coffee retailers such as yourself to make sure we can buy Fair Trade Certified coffee in your store.
The Fair Trade monitoring organization, Fair Trade USA, is now certifying many coffee suppliers in the area and can help you to get Fair Trade coffee into your store. For information about where to find Fair Trade Certified coffees, contact Fair Trade USA, 1500 Broadway, Suite 400, Oakland, CA 94612, 510/663.5260, or www.fairtradeusa.org .
Offering Fair Trade coffee with the Fair Trade USA independent certification seal would benefit your business and coffee farmers around the world.