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. The homepage shows you a map of all coffee roasters and producers involved. Check out the producer cooperatives Bean North has a working relationship with by clicking on 'our' coffee bean. This member mapshows you where our coffees comes from - then select the producer cooperative you're interested in by clicking on a green bean. Read about the cooperative, see the social premium investments they received and learn about recent projects the co-op completed. Click on the word contract in the top right corner to see the signed contracts, check out the bill of lading and its significance in importing goods, and more. Fair Trade Proof walks you through everything!
Please take a 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.