What's New

feb

WISHING YOU ALL A RELAXING FAMILY DAY WEEKEND! We will be away from the Roastery but back in full force Tuesday morning. Leave your orders at 416-534-6335 and we will have those beans popping in no time. Enjoy the time off!!

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Your Nickel's Worth!!!  The Roya Fund education collaboration in action!!

Our Coop was able to facilitate an intensive training workshop addressing Roya in Colombia at Fondo Paez Coop. The talks were led by Victor Contreras - one of the star-organic promoters from COMSA in Honduras. The information shared was generated by work done in the fields by truly visionary farmers at COMSA who have developed natural methods and techniques to fight off the dreaded leaf rust. For more information visit Monika's blog: http://coopcoffees.coop/this-guy-has-rocked-my-world/

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 LIKE WALDO, THE AG BEANS ARE EVERYWHERE!

  • The JUNCTION FROMAGERIE, 3042 Dundas West, junctionfromagerie.com. Reload on fresh locally roasted fairtrade coffee beans while shopping for artisanal cheese, preserves, bread and other goodies! 
  • Right on Roncie! At MABEL's, 323 Roncesvalles Ave. (and 1156 Queen St. West), Hours: 7:30-7:30 weekdays and 9-6pm on weekends. Also, at EVERGREEN NATURAL FOODS, 161 Roncesvalles Ave. And last and not on the strip but nearby, at  SUNNY JOE's (250 Sorauren Ave., across from the park), open 7:30 to 5:30 Monday to Friday, Saturday and Sunday 8:30 - 5:30.
  • In Parkdale, at the GOOD CATCH GENERAL STORE (1556 Queen W. at Sorauren), and the WEST END FOOD COOP (1229 Queen W. at Dufferin). And on Bloor West at the NUTHOUSE (1256A Bloor St. West), and Coffee Guitar-land at 1280 Bloor St. W. (E of Lansdowne on the north side)
  • Further afield? Now you can find our coffee at Abokichi! 258 Dupont St. You can purchase beans or grab a cup when you are getting your onigiri!!

A reminder that we have a copy of "Connected by Coffee" available for loan. This doc features a number of our producer partners and 2 Coop Coffee members on a tour of Central America looking at coffee as a means of empowerment - where we are and the distance still to cover. Thought provoking

BEAN UPDATES

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Scan this QR code, become a grower! At GROW AHEAD, coffee consumers can make loans to producer farmers who make their daily cups of joe a reality. Want to become part of a truly revolutionary financing model but haven't got a smartphone? You can still make a loan online at www.growahead.org (remember to select Alternative Grounds as your affiliated partner). Coffee addicts, drinkers, fairtraders and farmers unite!

Read the latest on our Coop's Coffee Farmer Resilience Fund! CoopCoffees "is excited to be entering Round-Two of the CFRF together with Root Capital, Progreso Foundation and other industry allies. Eleven of our partnering Latin American producer cooperatives have benefitted from this funding to improve their capacity to confront and remedy the impact of leaf rust in their fields". Get the full scoop here, www.coopcoffees.coop/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/CFRF-Summary-visual-report.pdf

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"My farm was beautiful; it was big.. Coffee rust appeared and wiped out everything," Edwin Diaz (Guatemalan coffee farmer). Cooperative Coffee's Roya Fund, which we started last year, continues to support our partners! As the article featured in NPR's the Salt indicates, we can not underestimate the devastating effects this fungus is having on communities across Central and into South America.  Kudos go out to all the organic innovation intiated at the farm level by so many of our partners, including those at COMSA who have been leaders in teaching other farmers best practices. Read the full article here: http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2014/07/28/335293974/rust-devastates-guatemalas-prime-coffee-crop-and-its-farmers

 “For coffee farmers who are dealing with this rust crisis ... if they don’t have coffee to sell, they don’t eat,” - Charlie Fishbein ( The Coffee Exchange) speaks about the Roya Crisis. Read a great piece written by one of our own Coop Coffees Monika by clicking on this link! This article recently published Canada's Media Co-op, an online magazine that covers "news from the grassroots", addresses the crisis impact on farmers. We are happy to report that through our Roya premium fund and with the help of Root Capital, we at Coop Coffees have delivered around $300,000 to our Latin American partners working to renovate and/or resist the effect of roya.

OTHER GOOD STUFF!

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Looking for gifts for the coffee geeks in your life? Consider the “Canadiano" by , a tried, tested and brewing a solid cuppa pour over filter made of wood and metal.  It loves our coffee! Check it out at www.canadiano.co and

Alison, the Coffee Comandante at Japanese Paper Place shares a coffee tip to ensure coffee chaos/ crisis does not occur in your household or business : " I always label the last bag "last bag" ... once the "last bag is chosen, (they) bring me the label and I know it's time to order again before we run out! Works like a charm! " Life does not have to be that difficult!!

Fair World Project does it again!!  "but lets not pretend there is any correlation between high quality coffee and making the world a better place. If you want transformation, get involved with the fairtrade movement" (emphasis mine) To read the full article, click on the link. Kudos for plain speak!

Did you know that the World Social Forum will be held in Montreal in August of this year? In fact, Cooperative Coffees is on the organizing committee. We are booking our accommodation early as they are expecting the world!! Check it out! 

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Really enjoy reading Michael Sheridans coffee blog - always thought-full and often provocative. www.coffeelands.crs.org 

IN THE SPOTLIGHT   

RCFebruary Spotlight shining bright on The Renassaince Cafe! Located at 516A Victoria Avenue East in Thunder Bay, the Renaissance is one of the many bustling independent businesses found in the heart of this northern city's revitalized waterfront district.

On the menu you will find on tap certified organic and fair trade Alternative Grounds coffee as well as homemade pastries, soups, and sandwiches. 

A bustling meeting place and a popular spot for cultural and social events, the cafe walls showcase works by local and visiting artists.

Trekked north in Ontario close to Thunder Bay and are missing our fabulous java? The Renaissance Cafe not only brews our joe but stocks our beans on the regular. 

For other information follow the Renaissance at https://www.facebook.com/RenCafVictoria/ or call (807) 252-8154 if ever in this neck of the woods.

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EVENTS & HAPPENINGS

This year's Canadian Organic Growers AGM looks Great! Start with healthy soil and the benefits go all the way up! Saturday February 20th. For more info visit: http://campaign.r20.constantcontact.com/render?ca=1d000f08-c369-4508-b9c0-30daf1690bcd&c=dd714820-83a8-11e3-a102-d4ae527557ea&ch=df3e18e0-83a8-11e3-a1b5-d4ae527557ea

Something to look forward to in February! Tuesday February 9th Aangen in partnership with Luce Resto is hosting "Heal Hunger". A fundraiser in aid of the construction of an industrial kitchen to support school communities in Nigeria. Tickets are $35 and available on-line at www.aangen.com

Wednesday February 17th, 5:30-7:30 pm at the Textile Museum be a part of 1000 stitches! An evening of knitting, and sewing with presentations and good company! You can also drop off yarn for otheres to knit. In support of 1,000 stitches for Syria (1000stitches.org) welcoming Syrian refugees to Canada with handmad items. 

Have you heard that Toronto's 1st tool library is open in the basement of PARC? (1499 Queen St.W) They are taking donations and looking for volunteers. You can purchase a membership and borrow all the tools needed for that long-delayed project! Find out more at www.irbe.org. You can also call 647-965-5604.

Beit Zatoun Looking for stimulating and mind expanding activities in the city, make sure to review BZ's impressive calendar of events at www.beitzatoun.org/cms/events.aspx for concerts/recitals, art exhibits, workshops, talks and film screenings.

FAIRTRADE: EDUCATE/ADVOCATE!

FTcityInterested in learning more about Fairtrade, Organics and Social Justice? Make sure to check our Resources page for more info and great links!

The winter edition of Fairtrade Magazine features an article on Fairtrade Carbon Credits. For more information about this fascinating initiative visit: Fairtrade International Climate Standard Page http://www.fairtrade.net/standards/our-standards/climate-standard.htmlFairtrade Carbon Credits section with video http://www.fairtrade.net/products/carbon-credits.htm FCC Video https://vimeo.com/145655805

Check out "Fair trade vs. Free trade" a concise educational and advocacy piece produced by the fairworldproject.org:  "Wouldn't it be great if public policies benefited the public, so everyone could prosper, and so-called "free trade agreements" valued our precious resources rather than exploiting people and the planet? As consumers, we have the power to vote with our dollars, as well as to engage in local and federal policy reform in order to help change.." Watch at: www.youtube.com/watch?v=VNPkiJrk_Bw

 And here's another fantastic article via the Fairtrade Federation that provides an inside look of the business behind your daily cup of fairtrade joe - it features our coop and a few of our dedicated partners: www.fairtradefederation.org/what-do-you-know-about-the-business-behind-your-coffee. Read on!!!

Another must read:  Cooperative Coffees Position on Fairtrade. Also, do check regularly our coop's news section for great articles, reports from the fields and updates on our members and producer partners, www.coopcoffees.coop/whats-new/external-news.

Do remember to check out Faitrade Proof, one of Coop Coffees' initiatives which addresses "transparency" in fairtrade transactions made by its members. At www.fairtradeproof.org, you can trace the beans you love from farmer to roaster, and learn about the intricate yet rewarding inner workings of fairtrade partnerships.equal exchange

Remember, if you want to become better acquainted with our fairtrade pricing policy, check out the Fairtrade section of this website. We are always on the look-out for great ideas - things that partner well with us and what we are trying to accomplish through Alternative Grounds. So feel free to drop us a line and share suggestions with our staff.

Also, check out our Greenstuff section for tips and suggestions to help us soften our collective and individual carbon footprint! In this section you'll find neat and fun ideas for the use and re-use of our burlap/jute bags, paper bags, etc.  And we bet your compost could use a little of our coffee chaff to lighten its load!! If you are indeed interested, give Linda a call at 416-534-6335

We're Passionate About Fairtrade and Love to Share Our Passion! Over the years we have gathered a good collection of articles, books and videos about different aspects of Fairtrade and coffee. These are available for your perusal on loan. We're also available to do slide shows and presentations. Give us a call to request and book a visit, 416-534-6335.

AND THANKS TO...

Gerry for bringing a quotation from the late Tommy Douglas to our attention:  

"Courage, my friends. It is not too late to build a better world."  

Words to live by!!