WHAT'S IN A NAME?
That which is called "Fair Trade" by any other name would be just as Fair.
A while back, we decided to change the name of one of our most popular blends to better represent the three origins that it contains. Our "Pacific Blend" is comprised of coffees from around the Pacific "Ring of Fire".
For the past decade or so our "Fair Trade blend" has been a staple for many Loyal Laroma customers, who will continue to receive exactly the same blend they have always enjoyed. The only difference is the name.
Stepping away from the words Fair Trade has sparked a conversation over whether this blend was ever any "Fairer" than our other blends.
The answer, in short, is:
"No, we don't believe so".
This is one of our reasons for the name change; We do not want to detract from the fact that all of our blends are equally ethical.
Using ethical coffee is a significant part of our philosophy and something that is immensely important to us. Laroma has not been associated with the organization "Fairtrade" for a number of years now because we believe there are better ways to ethically source coffees without compromising quality.
To be eligible for Fair trade certification, coffee must be produced by small holders who are members of a Cooperative. The problem is: this accounts for less than 5% of all coffee produced. This by no means makes the remaining 95% "Unethical". By selecting our coffee first and foremost based on "Quality" and "Traceability" and paying a premium for coffee that is of a high standard, you get a better coffee in your cup while the farmer still gets paid a fair price which can sustain his or her family and community, as well as ensuring the continued production and growth of their farm.
That being said, this does not mean we won't buy coffees that are Fairtrade certified, we use a number of FT coffees in our blends and they are all exceptionally good coffees. Likewise, we buy coffee from cooperatives and cooperative members who are not Fairtrade certified. The Fairtrade system is a consistent one, but not entirely flawless. By not limiting ourselves to "Fairtrade" certified coffees we are supporting the producers who are not a part of the FT system, ensuring that they too get a fair price for the coffee they have worked so hard to produce.