What Fair Trade Means to Us

Our trade justice approach focuses on relationships with the farmers themselves


We are proud to have pioneered the commitment to All-Organic/All Fair Trade!

So what’s our philosophy at Dean’s Beans? Over the years we’ve participated in different labeling initiatives, like the well-known “Fair Trade Certified” label. Although we used to support it, we’ve always maintained that the Fair Trade labeling system is just one ‘tool in the toolbox’ for creating trade justice. But now that the marketplace has become more saturated with Fair Trade claims and corporate players meddle with the rules, we feel stronger than ever that we need to just keep doing what we are doing instead of putting stake in 3rd party labels. We have also worked closely with farm cooperatives to develop the Small Producer Symbol, the first farmer owned and operated fair trade label.  

Our approach to Fair Trade is to:

Purchase 100% certified organic coffee from FLO registered Cooperatives

  • Purchase directly from the coops, not through middlemen
  • Purchase at or above the international Fair Trade price
  • Co-design and fund People-Centered Development projects with each of our coffee cooperative partners that are managed by the famers themselves
  • Pre-finance bean purchases whenever financially feasible
  • Commit to an independent, 3rd party, public audit of our Fair Trade practices

Just as we build long-term relationships with farmers, we want to do the same with you. That way you can see that, for us, Fair Trade isn’t just a passing fad, but rather the foundation of our company, and the reason we come into work every day. For more information about the current Fair Trade debates, check out our blog.

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