BOSTON -- Today's announcement that Green Mountain Coffee Roasters has agreed to work closely with Ethiopia to raise the value that Ethiopian farmers receive from their coffees is a welcome first step that other companies should follow, says international agency Oxfam.
The formal Letter of Intent between Green Mountain -- a major coffee roaster and distributor in the US -- and Ethiopia "is an initiative made in good faith between a major company, the government, and a national stakeholder group that includes farmer cooperatives," said Raymond C. Offenheiser, president of Oxfam America.
"Developing countries need greater control over their own agricultural markets in order to negotiate a fair return from the quality and reputation of their products. Coffee companies that expect to thrive in a global market should follow Green Mountain's lead," Offenheiser said. "We hope that Green Mountain will continue to break new ground toward Ethiopia's ultimate goals."