Fair Trade: Is It The Right Choice For Atlanta Coffee Drinkers?

When shopping for coffee in Atlanta, you’ve probably noticed that some coffee packages Fairtrademention “Fair Trade.” There’s a good chance you already know what this means. But in case you don’t, let’s take a minute and discuss it.
Many coffee roasters and retailers today are selling “Fair Trade” coffee. Eagle Vending carries some Fair Trade coffees through its office coffee service. The Fair Trade logo signifies the product has been grown in a fair or sustainable manner.
The Fair Trade movement has been active in Atlanta for more than two decades. Since Fair Trade coffee came on the scene, other “causes” have emerged as well. Fair Trade remains one of the better known causes associated with coffee, and its popularity is increasing.
Under the Fair Trade model, producers at coffee co-ops charge a premium for the coffee and the extra charge is intended to support coffee workers and the environment. Beyond supporting fair wages, Fair Trade also promotes social and environmental goals such as women’s empowerment, rainforest protection, and organic farming.
Among the organizations that certify Fair Trade coffee, the three best known are Fair Trade USA, Fair Trade International and the Foundation of Small Organized Producers.
Along with Fair Trade, Atlanta coffee consumers can buy coffees certified by Rainforest Alliance, Utz, the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center of the National Zoo, and the USDA. iStock_000008073434SmallThe certification organizations use different criteria. All of these certifications signify some aspects of coffee sustainability.
It makes sense for any industry selling an agricultural product to invest in responsible harvesting, packaging and delivery practices.
But as Fair Trade and other “cause” programs noted above have grown over the years, questions have arisen about the reliability of these certifications and how much consumers really care about them. Certifications also add costs that they need to weigh against their supposed benefits.
Some coffee roasters believe non-certified coffee can accomplish the goals of Fair Trade certified coffee. Hence, they think the certification is misleading. In addition, some believe the certification’s reliability has suffered because of mismanagement by the certifying organizations.
Others say that while the certification might not be perfect, it provides a third party verification that the coffee meets certain standards.
Eagle Vending recognizes all of these concerns, and as a coffee specialist, we want all the Atlanta coffee consumers to understand their choices as fully as possible.
As a movement grows, problems and criticisms are likely to follow. And Fair Trade is growing.
So is Fair Trade coffee a good choice for an Atlanta coffee consumer?iStock_000009552917XSmall
Ric Rinehart, executive director of the Specialty Coffee Association of America, said in an article in Fresh Cup Magazine earlier this year that all the coffee cause programs are an attempt to distribute the coffee industry’s revenue in a way that fairly rewards all players. Coffee causes are an indicator of what Rinehart calls the “systemic deficiency that the coffee industry suffers from.” The systemic deficiency he sees is that the commerce system does not deliver sufficient rewards back to the coffee farmer.
Rinehart acknowledges that some of the criticisms of Fair Trade are valid. But he is hesitant to say the programs have failed. He thinks that thanks to these programs, the coffee industry has raised public awareness about the farmers’ conditions and the environment.
The choice to buy Fair Trade and other coffee causes rests completely with the Atlanta coffee consumer. Call Eagle Vending today at (770) 426-1969 for a free no-obligation consultation of your break room needs.

How to Maximize the 2 Most Productive Hours of Your Work Day in Atlanta

Research shows us two things about the mid-morning hours of 9:30am-11:30am.iStock_000010077048XSmall
1. According to Steven Miller, a Ph.D candidate at the Uniformed Service University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda Maryland, “Your coffee will probably be most effective if you enjoy it between 9:30am and 11:30 am, when your cortisol levels are dropping before the next spike.”
2. 9:30am to 11:30am is also when researchers argue is the best time of day to stay focused on a job and conquer that day’s most demanding tasks. Orfeu Buxson, a professor in the division of sleep medicine at Harvard Medical School stated, “this is the most alert you’ll be all day. Best take advantage of it, because it’s a very small window.”
As a business owner or HR Manager in Atlanta this may cause some concern. What do you do if at the same time your employees will be most productive they are looking for a coffee fix?
May we suggest making their search a little shorter by making your employees’ favorite coffee shop your break room?
Offer Eagle Vending’s office coffee service and keep employees in Atlanta on site during their most productive hours.
Not sold? Here are some extra benefits that suggest offering free coffee to your employees will not only boost your productivity from 9:30 to 11:30am but all day long:
iStock_000005321698XSmall• Without the need to stop at a coffee shop on the way to the office employees will be more likely to arrive on time
• You’ll be saving employees money, leading to better employee morale and higher employee engagement
• Employees will feel appreciated. According to Bob Nelson, a leading authority on workplace motivation, “it’s about more than a free hot drink; it’s recognizing employee value.
• You’ll boost employee motivation. According to a 2012 Dunkin’ Donuts Survey 63% of professionals drink at least 2 cups of coffee per day and claim “they aren’t as motivated without their daily cup.”
To find out more on how Eagle Vending‘s office coffee service can maximize the 2 most productive hours of the work day, increase your bottom line and boost morale in Atlanta, call us today at (770) 426.1969.