Fair trade or free trade? Let your voice be heard on Minnesota’s future!
The Obama Administration is negotiating two new mega trade deals (one with Pacific Rim countries, another with Europe) entirely in secret, with the goal of further expanding the NAFTA-model of free trade. These trade agreements could have major impacts on Minnesota's farmers, workers, small business owners and rural communities. They could limit Minnesota’s ability to support local food and energy systems and grow local businesses. In order to stay up to speed, Minnesota has set up a new Trade Policy Advisory Council (TPAC) to advise the state legislature and Governor.
TPAC wants to hear from Minnesotans: What concerns do you have about free trade? What role could TPAC play in the future? Now is your opportunity to have a say in our future trade policy. Complete the survey and let them know future trade negotiations should be public, not secret. Help ensure the voices of all Minnesotans are heard in the development of trade agreements and that they protect local control and our quality of life. The free trade model has failed for Minnesota and we need a new approach to trade. Help ensure the voices of all Minnesotans are heard before trade agreements are completed, and that they protect local control, our natural resources and our quality of life.
The idea is fair trade-ensuring farmers and workers are paid fairly and the coffee is grown using environmentally sustainable practices.
IATP started Peace Coffee in 1996 as the country's first 100-percent certified organic and fair trade coffee company. The idea came from Mexican coffee producers who were looking for new markets for their organic green beans.
Peace Coffee started out importing organic fair trade green beans from Mexico and Guatemala to sell to local roasters. There were some early experiments with other brand names, the first being Aztec Harvest.
A partnership with Nobel Peace Prize laureate Rigoberta Menchu led to the creation of Guatemalan Peace Coffee which over time simply became Peace Coffee.
In the early years, Peace Coffee operated out of IATP's basement, with tons of coffee beans being loaded up and down steep steps to be ground and packaged. Today, Peace Coffee roasts fair trade coffee from Ethiopia, Columbia, Sumatra, Guatemala, Mexico, Nicaragua, Peru and the Dominican Republic.
Peace Coffee now has a beautiful home in the Green Institute, with two state-of-the-art roasters and a growing, dedicated staff with a passion for good coffee. Peace Coffee bike deliveries have become iconic. In the fall of 2010, Peace Coffee opened its first coffee shop at 3262 Minnehaha Avenue in Minneapolis.
IATP continues to advocate for fair trade at the policy and community level. We work to integrate sustainability throughout the entire food and farm system, from supporting farmers and the environment to ensuring that everyone has access to healthy food.
Your purchase of Peace Coffee not only tastes great, it also supports IATP's efforts locally and globally to ensure a fair and sustainable food, farm and trade system for all. Learn more at iatp.org.