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How Sustainable Harvest built business on Fair Trade principles

How Sustainable Harvest built business on Fair Trade principles

Sustainable Harvest is a green specialty coffee importer with a unique mission to link small holder growers to better paying markets using a concept it created called ‘Relationship Coffee’.

As one of the largest fair trade coffee importers in the world, the price the company pays growers is always well above the world commodity prices for coffee. Sustainable Harvest hopes to set an example for how a small business can create sustainable systems that build lasting markets for coffee farmers around the globe.

’Relationship Coffee’ is built upon a foundation of transparency, full traceability, trade credit, total quality, and training.

Sustainable Harvest invests about half of what it earns as a coffee importer to train small-holder coffee growers and coffee cooperatives to improve their quality and access higher paying markets.

 It does this through five overseas farmer-training offices in Africa, South America, Central America and Mexico - all of which are devoted to farmer training and coffee support services.

As one of the fastest growing specialty coffee importers, the company sources from the top organic and fair trade farms from around the world. It sells these coffees to USA, Canadian and Japanese coffee roasters and retailers, and helps them tell the story behind the beans.

Sustainable Harvest claims to be the first importer to focus exclusively on organic, shade-grown, and fair trade specialty coffees. The company was awarded in 2006 by the Specialty Coffee Association of America for the creation and development of the idea called ‘Relationship Coffee’, as a new business model which has helped thousands of small coffee farmers and communities survive the recent coffee crisis.

In the video below, company president, David Griswald, shares how small companies can become an industry trend setter in creating innovative and sustainable business trade relationships between growers and buyers.

Part 1

Part 2

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