Coffee: Without it, the majority of people in the Western Civilization wouldn’t get up in the morning. It’s our gasoline. It’s our social elixir. It’s our lifeblood. And it’s the world’s second most valuable traded commodity, behind only petroleum. There are approximately 25 million farmers and coffee workers in over 50 countries involved in producing coffee around the world. Coffee is a vital source of export for many of the developing countries that grow it. Some 20 million families in 50 countries now work directly in the cultivation of coffee; an estimated 11 million hectares of the world’s farmland are dedicated to coffee cultivation. Coffee is big business, no doubt about it.

You don’t even really need a place. But you feel like you’re doing something. That is what coffee is. And that is one of the geniuses of the new coffee culture.”  -Jerry Seinfeld

Ozan Taner Moema Espresso

bUnited Founder Ozan Taner Discusses the Benefits of Fair Trade

Ozan Taner, knows a thing or two about coffee. After living for many years in Brazil, Taner set up Moema-Espresso, a Berlin based company. He is passionate about the industry and knows the best flavor Moema-Espresso gives to its customers comes from his Fair Trade farms.  In this brief interview, Taner explains how Fair Trade is truly good to the last drop.

 

bU: How would you explain fair trade to the average consumer?

Ozan: Being a Fair Trade  company means you only sub-contract people or other companies that guarantee their products are manufactured in conditions that respect labor laws and workers’ rights concerning work hours, benefits (as health and retirement) and work conditions. A Fair Trade company will not make business with anyone that uses child labor or that doesn´t have the workers best interest in mind. In the coffee industry, for example, we will only work with farmers that can guarantee a certain standard regarding the way they manage labor.  Fair Trade has to do with being socially responsible, and believing that companies can be profitable and at the same time help
build a better society.

 

brazil-coffee-harvestHow does the consumer benefit from fair trade products?

For one thing, consumers will not have the bitter taste of child labor or exploited workers thrown in their coffee cups –and that’s an attractive prospect, even if you have to pay a little more for our products. Also, if you think more globally, Fair Trade practices guarantee better living conditions in the places where our coffee comes from.  We help produce value locally and avoid poverty that forces people to look for better living conditions elsewhere.

 

Do you think consumers are willing to reward companies for their positive actions?

I believe they are, because, if you think about it, having guilt-free coffee for a few extra dollars seems like a small price to pay when you look at all the benefits that we can promote socially. Fair Trade practices makes the company work not only for profit  – and we have to say that profit is important, because we need that to keep business running – but also with the perspective that business is not exploitation.  It’s taking but it is also giving something back to society – and that’s the real meaning of trading.

 

pure-passion-moema

Tell us a little about the story of your company. What is Moema-Espresso philosophy considering producers and consumers?

After living for sometime in Brazil, I went into the coffee import–export business and set up Moema-espresso. The company has a win-win
philosophy, and that’s what’s really important to us.  We win by making fair business.  Producers win because they add value to their product, and the consumers win because they can have a better product that is also trustworthy when it comes to its origins. We believe that establishing Fair Trade practices regarding workers is really the minimum – we are doing what we wish everyone would do – because we believe that when you have a fairer market you can have a better world.

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