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Gina-Marie Cheeseman headshot

Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Named Largest Purchaser of Fair Trade Coffee

It's a good time to be Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (GMCR). Fair Trade USA, leading third-party certifier of fair trade products, named GMCR the largest purchaser of Fair Trade Certified coffee in the world for 2010. GMCR purchased over 26 million pounds of Fair Trade Certified coffee last year. GMCR stocks hit a 52-week high last week, increasing 0.82 percent to $115.98.

The coffee roasting company first partnered with Fair Trade USA in 2000. Since then, GMCR's purchases of Fair Trade Certified coffee has brought over $9.8 million in community development funds to coffee farmers.

"As the largest purchaser of Fair Trade Certified coffee in the world, we are dedicated to producing high-quality, sustainably-sourced coffee for our consumers while helping provide a higher quality of life to farmers across our supply chain," said Lindsey Bolger, Senior Director of Coffee for the Specialty Coffee business unit of GMCR.

Bolger added, "With this leadership role comes a responsibility to share the story of fair trade with coffee drinkers and help them realize the impact they can have by looking for and choosing coffee and other products with the Fair Trade Certified logo."

One way that GMCR is sharing the story of fair trade with coffee drinkers is through its recently launched "Better Quality for All" campaign. Through the campaign's Facebook page, consumers can "like" the page, and learn more about fair trade coffee. The campaign runs through October, which happens to be Fair Trade USA's Fair Trade month.

In other good fair trade news, the latest SPINS figures show that sales of fair trade certified products at mainstream grocery stores increased by 87 percent in the second quarter of this year over the previous quarter.

"As mainstream brands with broad distribution—like Ben and Jerry’s, Honest Tea and Larabar continue to convert their ingredients to Fair Trade and satisfy the growing demand for sustainably-produced goods, we’ll continue to see sales grow," said Cate Baril, Director of Business Development, Grocery and Ingredients for Fair Trade USA.

GMCR named Humanitarian of the Year

As if being named the largest purchaser of fair trade coffee isn't enough, this week, Medicines for Humanity (MFH) named GMCR the 2011 Humanitarian of the Year. MFH is a non-profit organization dedicated to reducing children mortality in the developing world.

"GMCR has established a global footprint of caring, and demonstrated proactive concern for the well being of the neediest children," said MCH Board member. "In Rwanda, they seek out these children, and make sure they have life-saving healthcare services. They have shown the world how to use resources wisely to create enduring goodness."

Photo: Flickr user Anthony_p_c

Gina-Marie Cheeseman headshotGina-Marie Cheeseman

Gina-Marie is a freelance writer and journalist armed with a degree in journalism, and a passion for social justice, including the environment and sustainability. She writes for various websites, and has made the 75+ Environmentalists to Follow list by Mashable.com.

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