Friday, October 24, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Small talk: Fair Trade brings big sales and a clear conscience

By
From page B7 | July 27, 2014 |

Joyce M. Rosenberg

NEW YORK — Brooklyn Roasting Co. has a booming business based on helping people thousands of miles away.

Ninety percent of the coffee the New York-based company sells is Fair Trade — certified as produced by people who are treated and paid well.

Being socially responsible pays off for Brooklyn Roasting, which sells to restaurants, food stores and the public through its website. Sales of its Fair Trade coffee, which comes from Mexico, Peru, Indonesia and Ethiopia, have soared from $900,000 in 2011 to $4.4 million last year. They are expected to reach $6 million in 2014.

“In a thoughtful urban center like New York City, I think it’s a smart business decision to be the company known for responsible coffee sourcing,” co-owner Jim Munson says.

Demand for Fair Trade products is rising as people become more aware of how their food and other products are made. That makes the Fair Trade market a growing opportunity for small business owners. While companies sell Fair Trade food, clothing and bedding products because they believe in being socially responsible, the goods can also be part of a marketing strategy, says Russell Winer, a marketing professor at New York University’s Stern School of Business. Sixty percent of shoppers are willing to pay the higher prices that Fair Trade items tend to have, according to a 2013 study he co-wrote.

This is how it works. Goods — coffee is the best known, but there’s also chocolate, sugar, coconut, cotton, tea, flowers, nuts, fruits and vegetables — are certified as Fair Trade by a handful of organizations around the world. They pledge to visit farms and production areas to inspect working and living conditions.

In return for the certification, product manufacturers pay a premium. For coffee, it’s 20 cents a pound; for chocolate, $200 per metric ton. This cost is usually passed on to shoppers, who can tell products are certified by labels on packages.

No organization tracks the amount of Fair Trade products sold in the U.S., but Fair Trade USA, which says it certifies 90 percent of the products in the country, estimates the domestic market at $2 billion, just a sliver of U.S. grocery sales. It bases that number on a 2011 estimate by Fairtrade International, a global organization that sets certification standards for Fair Trade products.

At Whole Foods supermarkets, some customers specifically request Fair Trade goods, says Dwight Richmond, a purchasing executive at the chain. Whole Foods has increased its selection of Fair Trade chocolate by 350 percent in the past five years, he says.

PACT clothing, which sells garments made from organic cotton, launched a line of Fair Trade clothes this year. It started selling T-shirts at 70 Whole Foods stores in the Midwest, California and Texas, and sales were so strong that the chain has ordered shirts for more of its U.S. stores, PACT co-owner Jeff Denby says. His San Francisco-based company buys cotton directly from farmers in India and has the clothes manufactured in a factory there.

“We keep getting requests from stores every week but we can’t keep up with the demand,” says Denby.

While Fair Trade represents a growing opportunity for small businesses, it is still a tiny part of the market for food and clothing. U.S. supermarkets had $620 billion in sales in 2013, according to the Food Marketing Institute, a trade group for the supermarket industry. Shoppers are more likely to find Fair Trade items online or in stores that specialize in organic or natural foods — in the coffee aisle at a Manhattan grocery store, just two out of 130 separate brands and roasts had Fair Trade labels.

The growth in Fair Trade products has also been helped the last few years by the recovering economy. Shoppers aren’t as concerned about frugality as they were during the recession, says Winer, the NYU marketing professor.

“In a recession, private labels start to sell better and many products that are trying to get a premium for socially responsible behavior are squeezed a bit,” he says. His study says the average premium, or price increase, on Fair Trade products is 17 percent.

Although Erin Meagher pays about 4 percent extra for Fair Trade coconut oil, that hasn’t hurt sales of her products, sold under the name Kelapo. They rose 132 percent in 2013 after climbing 258 percent in 2012. Meagher expects another triple-digit gain this year for her Tampa, Florida-based business.

Meagher says she could make more money with oil that isn’t Fair Trade, but she believes in being socially responsible.

“We’re not going to trade that off for the extra little bitty profits we would make,” she says.

_____

Online:

www.fairtrade.net

www.fairtradeusa.org

 

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

 
‘The Rocky Horror Show’ finds a home on stage

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1

 
For sale: Solano home with Nike missile bunkers

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A1, 6 Comments | Gallery

 
 
Salvation Army debuts giant kettle for holidays campaign

By Robinson Kuntz | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Suisun City police log: Oct. 22, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
Fairfield police log: Oct. 22, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

.

US / World

New survey details vast scope of teen dating abuse

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 2 Comments

 
Boosters seek to keep Bay Bridge light display

By The Associated Press | From Page: A3 | Gallery

$50,000 reward to find killer of Anaheim girl, 9

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

 
Video shows bikers taunting California officer

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4, 4 Comments

California man guilty in wife’s stabbing death

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

 
Brown opens up spending in campaign’s final month

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

Driver attacked after ice cream truck kills boy

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4, 7 Comments | Gallery

 
Suspect in girl’s 1984 killing was police employee

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

PTSD argued in case of Marine jailed in Mexico

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 3 Comments | Gallery

 
US tech firm fined for underpaying Indian workers

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

Paintings in national parks spark probe, furor

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Prisoner in Afghanistan to be tried in US

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

US, SKorea agree to delay wartime control transfer

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
US officials: Iraqi army regrouping slowly

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7, 1 Comment

Gary killings put spotlight on abandoned buildings

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Lawmakers seek to end benefits to former Nazis

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7, 1 Comment

For teen with passport, Syria trip can be seamless

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Border deaths drop to 15-year low

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7, 2 Comments

Ex-Mountie hero of shooting at Canada’s Parliament

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Canada gunman wanted a passport to go to Mideast

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

NYC mayor: Don’t be alarmed by doctor’s Ebola

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
NK experts: US must apologize to free detainees

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Ebola: A crash course in fear and how it hurts us

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10, 4 Comments

 
Cremation fears leave empty Ebola beds in Liberia

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10 | Gallery

NY doctor back from Guinea has Ebola, 1st in city

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12, 1 Comment

 
.

Opinion

Planning Commission not listening to the people

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11, 10 Comments

 
Not sure I trust government on Ebola

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11, 9 Comments

Is America prepared for Ebola or is threat overhyped?

By Ben Boychuk and Joel Mathis | From Page: A11

 
.

Living

Today in History: Oct. 24, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: Oct. 24, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

 
Horoscopes: Oct. 24, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A9

.

Entertainment

Week in preview Oct. 24-30, 2014

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1

 
Review: ‘John Wick’ delivers non-stop action

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Entertainment calendar Oct. 24, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: B4

 
Burns’ series gives PBS a ratings milestone

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Q&A: Mick Jagger, the film producer, heads to work

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6, 1 Comment

.

Sports

 
At 1-all, World Series moves to quirky Giants park

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

Giants’ Hudson to face Royals’ Guthrie in Game 3

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7 | Gallery

 
College notebook: Cordes chosen to try out for USA national team

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B7 | Gallery

Homecoming still on but no game for VCS

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B8

 
Compton among PGA leaders at Sea Island

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Steve Nash ruled out for season with back injury

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Judge questions $75M NCAA concussion settlement

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Arizona men near-unanimous pick by media to win Pac-12

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Raiders may lose Woodley to biceps injury

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8 | Gallery

No. 6 Oregon looks to extend streak against Cal

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
The Write Way: KC coach’s lineup cards are artful

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8 | Gallery

Prep football capsules: Week 8

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B9

 
Manning, Sanders lead Broncos past Chargers, 35-21

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9 | Gallery

Sports on TV/Local sports for Friday, Oct. 24, 2014

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B10

 
This date in sports history for Friday, Oct. 24, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10

.

Business

Honda Fit becomes even more intriguing small car

By Ann M. Job | From Page: C1 | Gallery

 
Letting your car find a spot and park itself

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2, 1 Comment | Gallery

A blue Christmas for Amazon?

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

 
Zuckerberg speaks Chinese, Beijing students cheer

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11 | Gallery

Cloud business lifts Microsoft’s quarterly results

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

 
.

Obituaries

.

Comics

Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic | From Page: A8

 
For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9