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Our Organic, Fair Trade Policy

We believe in fair trade.

We have always believed in fair trade.

It’s not just a philosophy for us, it’s our way of doing business.

Since the founding of our company, our coffee has been certified organic and purchased under international fair trade guidelines.  From the beginning,  we chose to partner with TransFair, USA [now called Fair Trade USA], as our certifying agent.

In October 2011, we discontinued this relationship after TransFair, USA withdrew from the international governing body, Fair Trade Labeling Organization (FLO). We believe the fair trade movement must be accountable for its claims, and we felt we could no longer be associated with an organization that would not submit to agreed upon international guidelines. Many of our friends in the coffee world, those we call the “true believers,” also broke with TransFair, USA over these fundamental issues. 

Early this year, Vermont Coffee Company joined a growing group of companies and organizations to form the North American Fair Trade Stakeholder Council. Recently, we participated in a three-day summit in Minneapolis that laid the groundwork for a renewed, stronger, and better coordinated fair trade movement.  One important goal was to initiate a process of holding participants accountable to the stakeholders of the movement rather than to those who profit from it. 

There is much work to be done, and we are committed to ensuring our customers, friends, and farmers that our actions match our words.

For more information on the North American Fair Trade Summit and the Fair Trade Movement, you can peruse the following links:

domestic fair trade association

fair trade resource network

small producers

equal exchange takes a stand

equal exchange petition


Here at Vermont Coffee Company we try hard to be a

good friend - locally and globally.

We purchase and package only certified organic coffee that meets the

USDA National Organic Program requirements:

The use of genetic engineering, or genetically modified organisms [GMOs],

is prohited in organic products. To meet the USDA organic regulations,

farmers and processors must show they aren’t using GMOs and that they are

protecting their products from contact with prohited substances,

such as GMOs from farm to table.

Our FRIEND Philosophy

Our motto, “Coffee Roasted for Friends,” is more than a slogan. It’s really our mission, our reason for being in this business. Coffee is a social stimulus that brings people together to share ideas and stories, and when people come together, a community is formed and friends are made.

We are all connected through the communities we live and work in. We are next door to each other. We are down the road from one another. We volunteer in community organizations and are members of co-ops. We take care of each other’s kids and loan each other tools. We have potlucks and bake sales and take each other  to doctor appointments. We vote in our elections. We raise animals and grow food for one another. We build porches, massage sore muscles, and fix each other’s cars.

Here at Vermont Coffee Company we try hard to be a good friend — locally and globally. We are a small-town roaster using only fair trade, certified organic coffees from around the world.

We embrace fair trade relationships throughout our coffee business.  All the coffee we purchase is organic and fair trade.  Fair trade is ‘farmer friendly,’ and it holds the promise of a better way of commerce.  Traditional commerce – the exchange of things of value – can be exploitive of those who have less.  With fair trade, we are part of a new model where commerce is also an exchange of values.