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A new Fair Trade Certified coffee from Brazil has arrived in over 600 Sam’s Club stores across the United States. Sold under Member’s Mark brand, the coffee is available in two varieties. The new items are offered under the Responsible Sourcing Partnership Project connecting Brazilian coffee farmers with mass-market coffee consumers in the United States via Fair Trade certification.
“This partnership falls in line with the company’s mission of providing opportunity in communities around the world, as nearly 30,000 Brazilian producer family members are being positively impacted,” noted Jill Turner-Mitchael, SVP of merchandising at Sam’s Club, a division of Bentonville, Ark.-based Walmart.
Through the Responsible Sourcing Partnership Project, Brazilian producers and their families get better employment opportunities, more access to new domestic and international markets, increased use of environmentally sound production methods, and, in turn, improvements in their quality of life. Partner cooperatives are in the Brazilian states of Sao Paulo, Minas Gerais and Espirito Santo.
“USAID believes that public-private partnerships are the most effective mechanism to respond to global challenges,” said Jeffery Bell, director of Washington-based USAID/Brazil. “The Responsible Sourcing Partnership Project is a successful alliance that combines our complementary assets to promote sustainability [and] expand social and economic opportunities within the Brazilian coffee value chain.”
“Sam’s Club is an innovative partner in offering high-quality Fair Trade Certified coffee in a manner that both expands the marketplace and delivers value back down the supply chain to the farmer,” added Paul Rice, president and CEO of Oakland, Calif.-based TransFair USA. “A year from now, we will be able to trace Member’s Mark coffee sales directly to improved environmental management at Fair Trade coffee farms and higher quality of life in farming communities.”
In 2008, imports of Fair Trade Certified coffee grew over 30 percent. Besides coffee, Sam’s Club carries such Fair Trade Certified products as bananas, dried fruit and wine.