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BENTONVILLE, Ark. and OAKLAND, Calif. -- TransFair USA, a third-party, independent certifier of Fair Trade Certified products, said yesterday it has united Wal-Mart, the U.S. government, and a leading coffee company in a three-year, $1.9 million public-private agreement to support Brazilian farmers producing Fair Trade Certified coffee and cooperatives with technical training and infrastructure investment.
While the coffee industry in Brazil provides income for more than 10 million people, one-third of Brazil's 53 million people live in poverty, according to TransFair USA.
Aimed at improving earning potential for small-scale Brazilian farmers producing Fair Trade Certified coffee, the project connects coffee and retail experts to provide technical training on farming and business practices, TransFair USA said. In addition, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and Cafe Bom Dia will invest in basic farm and cooperative infrastructure needs such as offices, computer, and farm equipment.
Fair Trade Certified coffee brought in approximately $900 million in retail turnover in the U.S. in 2006.