Celebrate Human Rights Day with a Cup of Fair Trade Certified O Organics Coffee

Dec 9, 2015 7:00 AM ET
Campaign: Product

Human Rights Day is celebrated internationally each year on December 10th to commemorate the day in 1948 when the United Nations adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This declaration was a milestone in recognizing fundamental human rights to be universally protected, such as the right to free choice of employment or the right to education. People living in extreme poverty or in regions with less market opportunities can often be more vulnerable to human rights abuses.

Many small-scale coffee farmers are located in remote regions that still have limited access to opportunities to better themselves and their families. This makes them more vulnerable to middlemen who offer cash for their coffee at a fraction of the value. Fair Trade CertifiedTM products are a great way for consumers to feel confident they are helping to eliminate exploitation and protect fundamental human rights. O Organics Fair Trade Certified coffee empowers farmers to lead sustainable lives by providing them with fair market prices and safe working conditions, as well as additional price premiums to invest in community projects. The Fair Trade premium money goes into a communal fund for workers and farmers to use towards projects they deem to improve their social, economic, and environmental conditions.

This year alone, our Albertsons Companies customers have purchased more than 700,000 lbs of O Organics coffee. These purchases have helped contribute more than $350,000 in Fair Trade premiums that directly benefit the livelihoods and communities of coffee producers in Central and South America. “It’s so exciting to walk into an Albertsons or Safeway store and find Fair Trade Certified products in so many different aisles,” said Jennifer Gallegos, Director of Coffee at Fair Trade USA. “This means that shoppers have more opportunities than ever before to take a stand for human rights through their everyday purchases.”

The Asociación Barillense de Agricultores (ASOBAGRI) grower co-operative is one of many farming associations that sell us organic Fair Trade Certified coffee for our O Organics brand. The co-op was originally founded in 1989 by 20 members in the Huehuetenango region of Guatemala. Shortly thereafter, it experienced a period of political violence and increasing poverty, during which time many farmers abandoned their land. However, a decade later the group received Fair Trade certification to grow organic coffee and has since expanded to 1,107 members from 67 different Mayan communities.

The members of the ASOBAGRI grower co-op decided to invest a portion of their Fair Trade social premiums in scholarships for children in their community. In 2013, a total of 82 women and 175 men were able to use these grants.

Since 2010, I have received economic support for my daughter’s education. The Fair Trade Premium allowed me to pay for her education. She is currently getting her degree in Nursing.” - Juan Mateo Diego, ASOBAGRI’s member

ASOBAGRI also supported a program led by women called “Café con Manos de Mujer” which translates to “Coffee from women’s hands”. This initiative helps female landowners generate independent income to make it easier for both parents to look after their dependents, particularly their children.

Albertsons Companies family of stores (including Albertsons, Acme, Jewel-Osco, Safeway, Shaws, Star, Pavilions, and Vons) carry a variety of Fair Trade Certified products. In addition to the O Organics coffee, our stores exclusively carry the world’s first Fair Trade Certified tuna steaks, and you can also find tea, pineapples, and more. Why not celebrate Human Rights Day everyday by purchasing Fair Trade Certified products at your favorite local supermarket?