Submitted by Fair Trade USA
"Giant has a long standing record as a socially responsible company. Offering Fair Trade Certified coffee to our customers builds on that commitment," said Barry Scher, Vice President of Public Affairs for Giant Food. "Fair Trade Certified is the gold standard of socially responsible certification initiatives. And Giant is happy to partner with TransFair USA to bring the Fair Trade experience to our suppliers and customers."
"TransFair applauds Giant for its leadership and commitment to a fair deal for coffee farmers around the world, said Paul Rice, President and CEO of TransFair USA. "Each purchase of Fair Trade Certified coffee enables family farmers to stay on the land, keep their kids in school and invest in the future. Moreover, Giant's Fair Trade coffee launch is capturing the attention of the entire industry, signaling the arrival of Fair Trade products in mainstream channels. This is a groundbreaking move."
What Is Fair Trade Certification?
Over the past five years, the world market price for coffee has fallen 70%. Last year, prices dipped to their lowest ever, creating a crisis for 25 million farmers around the world who depend on coffee for their livelihood. Today, most small farmers are unable to cover their production costs or provide a decent living for their families.
By selling their coffee under internationally accepted Fair Trade standards, family farmers are guaranteed a fair price. Fair Trade helps farmers to bootstrap their way out of desperate poverty.
Since its founding five years ago, TransFair USA has certified 41 million pounds of coffee, generating $34 million of additional income for small farmers in Latin America, Africa, and Asia. Farmers typically use the additional income to cover production costs and improve healthcare, housing, and education for their families. Higher incomes also allow farmers to devote more meticulous attention to their crops to ensure a high quality harvest.
Almost 85% of Fair Trade Certified coffee in the U.S. is also certified organic and most is grown under the canopy of bird-friendly shade trees, protecting wildlife habitats and the soil.
About Giant Food LLC Giant Food LLC, headquartered in Landover, MD, operates 199 supermarkets in Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, and the District of Columbia, and employs more than 25,000 associates. Giant stores in New Jersey and Delaware operate under the Super G name. Included within the 199 stores are 168 full-service pharmacies.
Each year, Giant contributes more than $6 million in cash, goods and services to support charitable and community organizations in the markets it serves. Giant's commitment to education, for example, is demonstrated through its annual sponsorship of the popular high school television quiz program It's Academic as well as the A+ BonusBucks Program, which has awarded nearly $7.5 million to area schools since 2001. Giant's commitment to the local community is further enhanced through its support of area food banks. The company annually collects over a quarter of a million dollars in funds and tons of non-perishable products, which are donated to food banks to help feed the hungry in local communities.
Giant is a member of the Ahold USA group, owned by Ahold of the Netherlands. Ahold USA currently operates six prominent supermarket companies along the eastern seaboard including The Stop & Shop Supermarket Company, headquartered in Boston, MA; Giant Food Inc., based in Landover, MD; Tops Markets LLC, with headquarters in Buffalo, NY; Giant Food Stores LLC, based in Carlisle, PA; BI-LO LLC, headquartered in Mauldin, SC and Bruno's Supermarkets, Inc., with headquarters in Birmingham, AL. Jointly they operate over 1,300 supermarkets. Ahold (NYSE: AHO) is a leading food provider in the United States and elsewhere in the world with total consolidated sales of USD 49 billion.
About TransFair USA TransFair USA, a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit, is the sole Fair Trade certification organization in the U.S. Its rigorous audit system, which tracks products from farm to market, verifies industry and farmer compliance with Fair Trade criteria. TransFair authorizes companies to display the Fair Trade Certified label on products that meet this high standard. TransFair USA is part of a global certification network with a 15-year history of success in over 60 countries. In addition to coffee, TransFair also certifies Fair Trade tea, cocoa, chocolate and bananas. To learn more, visit http://www.transfairusa.org.
Fair Trade USA, a nonprofit organization, is the leading third-party certifier of Fair Trade products in North America. Fair Trade USA audits and certifies transactions between companies and their international suppliers to ensure that the farmers and workers producing Fair Trade Certified goods were paid fair prices and wages, work in safe conditions, protect the environment, and receive community development funds to empower and uplift their communities. Fair Trade USA also educates consumers, brings new manufacturers and retailers into the system, and provides farming communities with tools, training and resources to thrive as international businesspeople. Visit www.FairTradeCertified.org for more information.
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