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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MARCH 24, 2003
11:31 AM
CONTACT:  Co-op America
Erica Anstey: 202-872-5344

Grounds for Concern? Co-op America urges Safeway to offer Fair Trade Certified Coffee in the Safeway Select Line Simple Move Would Lift Thousands of Farmers Out of Poverty
 
WASHINGTON - March 24 - Co-op America, a national consumer education organization, is reaching out to tens of thousands of consumers across the country to ask retail giant Safeway to offer Fair Trade Certified Coffee in their Safeway Select line. Currently, a worldwide slump in coffee prices is resulting in joblessness and starvation for thousands of coffee farmers, while corporate coffee giants make windfall profits. Consumers will ask Safeway to help alleviate the impact of the crisis by introducing Fair Trade Certified coffee into their Safeway Select line, which guarantees coffee farmers a minimum price of $1.26 per pound versus the pennies they receive on the open market. Consumers can receive "The Fair Trade Solution," a FREE action guide about the crisis and the positive role that Safeway and other supermarkets can play by contacting Co-op America at 1-800-58 GREEN or online at www.fairtradeaction.org. The request from consumers for Safeway to introduce Fair Trade Certified Coffee in the Safeway Select line is part of a larger campaign of social justice and environmental groups, led by Co-op America, that aims at encouraging more mainstream coffee roasters to convert a percentage of their coffee to Fair Trade, which will dramatically help grow the market for Fair Trade coffee, and provide a living wage for thousands of farmers.

"We are asking consumers to let Safeway know every time they go to the supermarket that they demand Fair Trade coffee," said Alisa Gravitz, Executive Director of Co-op America. "Now is the time for corporate retailers to put their considerable purchasing power to work for a brighter future for coffee farmers."

Consumers are being asked to use the power of their wallets when they are in the supermarket in support of Fair Trade. In particular, Co-op America is asking consumers to fill out consumer comment cards the next time they are in Safeway supermarkets and ask for Fair Trade Certified coffee to be introduced into the Safeway Select line.

In conjunction with the campaign, FREE copies of a consumer action guide "The Fair Trade Solution" are available by calling Co-op America at 1-800-58-GREEN. The guide includes information about the coffee crisis and Fair Trade as a solution, as well as action steps, including postcards for consumers to use at the supermarket to ask for Fair Trade Certified coffee, and a list of resources for where to buy Fair Trade. For more information about Fair Trade coffee consumers can also visit www.fairtradeaction.org. For a press kit or a graphic of the Fair Trade Certified label, call Erica Anstey at 202-872-5344.

Co-op America is the national nonprofit consumer, business and investor organization working to harness economic power - the strength of consumers, investors, businesses and the marketplace - to create a socially just and environmentally sustainable society. Celebrating 20 years of service to people and the planet, Co-op America provides resources to consumers and business to help choose sustainable consumption practices; shift their purchasing and investing to socially and environmentally responsible companies; and use their power as consumers, investors and businesses to encourage America to change the way we do business to one that respects people and the planet. www.coopamerica.org

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