In 2001, we were one of the first retailers in St. Louis to offer certified Fair Trade Coffees. These coffees are monitored by Fair Trade Federation ensuring that at least a minimum sustainable wage was paid to the co-op at origin that exported the coffee. The Fair Trade minimum changes occasionally to reflect the economies and conditions at origin. We are happy to say that we have always and will always be paying at least this much for all of our coffees, and continue to improve upon the movement Fair Trade has started.
Over the last few years, we have started focusing on new programs (see Kaldi’s Relationship Coffees) that reward quality and taste as well as help small farmers who may not qualify for Fair Trade certification. These coffees are typically produced by small, independent farmers and co-ops who have started to build value based on the quality of their coffee rather than a certification.