Thailand :: fair trade coffee

In northern Thailand there is an organization that is committed to working with the hill tribe people of Thailand.  Integrated Tribal Development Program (ITDP) works to assist Hill-Tribes in water resource and sanitation, Thai Tribal Arabica Coffee, agricultural extension, health, evangelism, education and social development.

My main role while visiting ITDP was to see and meet people who are involved in their Fair Trade Coffee.  I spent 3 days driving around winding mountain roads, going from village to village, meeting coffee farmers.  These farmers used to grow opium and ITDP has introduced coffee and pay them fair wage.  These above fair wage for their coffee allows people to stop growing opium as well as lessen the need to sell a child into slavery or prostitution because they now have the ability to provide for their family.  The growers are members of a co-op and this coffee beans is sold through multiple roasters and retailers including Starbucks.  Bright Hope World roasts and sells this coffee under the label La Mai Coffee both in New Zealand and in the US.  Portions of the profit of the coffee goes back to the farmers (this is over and above the fair wage they already receive) as well as go to bangkok to help battle the sex trade there.

show hide 3 comments

Malcolm - I wanna meet the guy sitting cross legged and the lady smoking a pipe next to him… Awesome post, Lane

Al Walker - Can I buy their coffee in chiang mai, Thailand? Or somewhere in the country? Thanks for the story.

lane - Yes. They roast their coffee there in Chaing Mai and have a coffee shop as well. Lanna Cafe is the name. I think the address is 250/1 Moo.8 San Phi Sua, Muang, Chiang Mai 50300.

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