We at Bean North believe that being a self-proclaimed and widely-recognized Fair Trade company means we need to honestly and openly fulfill every aspect of Fair Trade, which is much more than just a higher price. First and foremost, Fair Trade is a long-term, equitable partnership between farmers and roasters. Total transparency allows all actors to operate at the same level, without concealing anything, which is an essential part of what Fair Trade should and can be.
By being fully transparent on both sides of the supply chain, both trust and equality can enter the equation in the formation of a true partnership. Bean North wanted to go above and beyond in demonstrating our level of commitment to Fair Trade, and thus to transparency. We are proud to be involved with Fair Trade Proof,an online transparency tool that allows the user to view every piece of paperwork involved in bringing coffee from farmer to roaster. Without proof, anyone can say anything. This site is part of our effort to provide total transparency in the coffee importation process.
The website allows the user to do several different things. First, you can explore what the documentation means. Never heard of a bill of lading and its significance in importing goods; well Fair Trade Proof walks you through what this means.
You can trace your particular cup of coffee in two ways.
First, go to fairtradeproof.org and choose Bean North from the list of roaster members. Next, take a look at the bottom of your pound of fresh roasted coffee, where there is a sticker with 2 sets of of numbers. Enter the 4 digit number from the sticker in under Step 2 and you will see all of the paperwork related to that specific blend or variety of coffee.
You can also trace your coffee by farm co-op. If you know your coffee came from Fondo Paez in Colombia, simply choose it from the drop-down list, and you will see all the lots that they have exported to us, and as well as a profile of the coop.
Please take look around fairtradeproof.org and tell us what you think. As consumers, retailers, roasters, importers, or producers, we need to start demanding higher levels of transparency from the world around us and decide to be better informed. With truth (and proof of the truth), comes the power to make things better. This online tool strives to provide a step in that direction.