1996, the export of coffee beans brought almost US$2
billion to the people of Colombia and US$2.4 billion
to the people of Brazil. In all, coffee growing is vital
to the economies of more than 70 countries.
In Canada today, coffee consumers are much more knowledgeable
than in years past. They demand a wider and finer range
of coffees. Members of the Coffee Association of Canada
have taken the lead in creating partnerships with coffee
grower in numerous countries around the world to meet
Our members - roasters, retailers and suppliers to the
coffee industry - work directly with growers to improve
agricultural practices and produce more and better coffee
beans. The results are often greater financial returns
for the farmers and increased compensation for their
workers. Both are key catalysts in lasting social and
There is, however, a limit to how much impact members
of the coffee industry can have. Most long term change
must be inspired by government initiatives such as export
development and international trade agreements.
Until that happens, and the need for support has been
removed, our members will stay actively involved in
the many innovative programs that make a positive and
Members will continue to forge partnerships with coffee
growers, looking for ways to improve conditions for
everyone involved in growing and harvesting beans.
Members will continue to travel regularly to the coffee
growing countries from which they import their beans
- to see with their own eyes how the systems work.
Coffee growers and government representatives from producing
countries will continue to come to Canada for meetings
organized by the Coffee Association and its members.
The knowledge exchanged through these forums can lead
to more programs that ensure equitable compensation
and healthy agricultural and business practices.
The ongoing practices of Coffee Association of Canada
- buying certified organic coffee
- developing partnerships with co-op organizations that
are committed to fair compensation for growers and workers
- developing health care and education programs for
coffee workers, their families and their communities
- prepaying for coffee crops during the growing season
to finance the harvest and handling of the beans after
- assisting farmers to purchase the equipment to help
them increase yields
The members of the Coffee Association of Canada have
a commitment to the people who grow the coffee beans
that we buy. We know, however, from our collective experience,
that every situation is unique. There is no one solution
that will improve the lives of the tens of thousands
of growers in all 70 coffee producing countries.
This information package contains several example of
the numerous programs in place right now in coffee growing
countries all over the world. Though varied and diverse,
these programs all share one common trait - they all
make a real and substantial difference to the people
President, Coffee Association of Canada