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McDonald's to Sell Fair Trade Certified Coffee

By Oxfam

Boston, MA – Oxfam America welcomes McDonald’s announcement today that it will be serving Fair Trade Certified™ coffee in 658 of its restaurants in New England and Albany, NY. Starting Nov. 1, participating locations will be switching 100 percent of their coffee products over to Fair Trade Certified™ organic coffee from Newman’s Own Organics, roasted by Green Mountain Coffee Roasters.

“McDonald’s commitment to fair trade is an important step,” said Seth Petchers, coffee program manager for Oxfam America. “This is a sign that the fair trade market is growing in strength and numbers. Other retailers and coffee companies should see this as a wake-up call and follow their lead.” He added, “We are excited about this regional launch, and we hope to see it spread across the country.”

The market for Fair Trade Certified™ coffee has grown by an average of over 70% each year since 1999. Fair trade coffee is available from over 400 coffee companies at 20,000 retail locations across the country—a sign that consumers are making their voices heard.

“Fair trade provides significant benefits to coffee farmers, including enough income to invest in their harvest and in quality improvements,” said Lorenzo Castillo, head of the Junta Nacional del Café, an organization representing small coffee farmers in Peru. Fluctuations in the price of coffee jeopardize small-scale coffee farmers’ businesses. Fair trade, by providing a stable price, helps to mitigate the impact of the coffee crisis, which many farmers continue to suffer through. Castillo continued, “It’s great that McDonald’s has recognized that to secure the highest quality coffee they need to pay farmers a fair price.”

For more information, please contact Helen DaSilva at 617-728-2409 (office) or 617-331-2984 (cell) or via email at [email protected].

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Oxfam America is a Boston-based international development and relief agency and an affiliate of Oxfam International. Working with local partners, Oxfam delivers development programs and emergency relief and campaigns for change in global practices and policies that keep people in poverty.

The “coffee crisis” is an economic and humanitarian calamity triggered by plunging coffee prices and a glut of low-quality coffee products that has ravaged coffee-growing communities in developing countries since 1999. After hitting a 30-year low in 2001, the price of coffee has continued to fluctuate over the last several months. Despite this, small-scale farmers are still unable to earn a decent income. As a result, millions of families lack basic necessities such as health care, education—even, in some cases, adequate food. Many coffee farmers have been forced to abandon their land and migrate elsewhere in search of employment. To read Oxfam America's latest report on the coffee crisis, visit: http://www.oxfamamerica.org/crisis_continues.

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