Many a coffee lover, if you are anything like me, will have breathed a huge sigh of relief last year when coffee company Starbucks announced that its espresso based drinks had been certified as Fairtrade. Now we can enjoy those white cups with pride, especially now they come complete with the Fairtrade Mark.
Starbucks are doing more than simply paying lip service. Most people know that by purchasing Fairtrade coffee, farmers in the developing world are guaranteed a fair price for their coffee and this is true, however the movement runs much deeper than this.
Have you ever taken the time to think about how farmers finance their coffee production? Well that’s where we come in. Shared Interest is the world’s only 100% fair trade lender. Based in the UK and with offices in Costa Rica, Kenya and Peru, we work with fair trade farmers and producers in the developing world, providing them with the pre finance they need to maintain their orders.
So what’s that got to do with Starbucks? One of our newest customers, Coopelibertad has achieved the certification required to supply the popular brand.
Coopelibertad was established since 1961; however its coffee achieved Fairtrade status in 2009, making it eligible to apply for a Shared Interest loan. The organisation collects coffee from other farmers in the area and prepares it for export – washing, drying and pilling – Coopelibertad then exports the coffee to international buyers in America and Europe.
Investment from Shared Interest will help Coopelibertad secure a stable future for the organisation. The co-operative has been the commercial arm of coffee families in Heredia, Costa Rica for at least four generations and the organisation wants to encourage younger people to see coffee production as a viable option to stop them migrating to the cities. In addition urban developments are raising the value of land in the area. This means that Coopelibertad may have to relocate some of its facilities. A Shared Interest loan will help the co-operative adjust to these changes, as funds will facilitate growth and development.
So next time you pop into Starbucks for a cheeky latte you can do so in the knowledge that your purchase is helping to secure a fair price for co-operatives such as Coopelibertad in Costa Rica. If you want to take your commitment to fair trade to the next level
check out www.shared-interest.com to find out how you can invest directly in fair trade businesses in the developing world.
Click here to learn how you can invest in fair trade.
Click here to donate to the Shared Interest Foundation