At Karamu, we value the environment and the people in it. We believe people should be fairly rewarded – whether they live here in Aotearoa, or far away.
Most of the world’s coffee comes from developing countries, where it can make up to 80% of Gross National Product (GNP).
These countries often lack things we Kiwis take for granted, like a minimum wage or universal schooling. The income farming families get for their coffee can make the difference between a hard but decent life, or grinding poverty.
But the price that coffee farmers get is controlled by the international open market, and is extremely changeable. Unscrupulous middlemen often take advantage of vulnerable farmers, further eroding the farmers’ profits.
At Karamu we don’t want to put our money into an economy that takes advantage of the most vulnerable. That’s why we’re supporting the ethical trade movement and sourcing all our coffee from Fairtrade sources.
Fairtrade is the only international standard that gives coffee farmers a price that covers the average cost of sustainable production. It’s a safety net against the worst peaks and troughs of international commodity prices.
This security allows Fairtrade certified coffee farmers to plan ahead, invest in better production methods, and even start sending their kids to school.
Fairtrade coffee producers are small family farms, organised in cooperatives or associations which the farmers own and run democratically – meaning fewer middlemen and rip-off merchants.
Chiapas state is one of Mexico’s poorest states. It boasts Aztec ruins and beautiful rainforests – but has few schools and little infrastructure.
People struggle to earn enough from farming to meet their families’ basic needs, so Fairtrade standards make a big difference.
Nueva Segovia is a lush, high-altitude rainforest region in the north of Nicaragua. Nicaragua’s countryside is spectacular and its history fascinating.
These days, much of the country scrapes by on intermittent farming work – producing cotton, coffee, and other commodities. Wages in Nicaragua are the lowest in the Americas, and it’s a tough place to live. Coffee farmers in Fairtrade cooperatives like PRODECOOP have much better opportunities than most.
Ethiopia is the ancestral home of coffee. Highland Ethiopians have been growing, roasting, brewing and enjoying coffee for thousands of years. It’s drunk with elaborate ceremony, expert pouring, and lots of socialising.
Fairtrade standards help Ethiopia’s coffee farmers bargain collectively, through local cooperatives, and also earn the price premium.
Karamu roasts both Yirgacheffe and Guji coffees, two of Ethiopia’s wet-processed coffees.
Guatemala is a beautiful and impoverished country with a long history, including decades of civil war. Like many coffee-producing countries, most of its people struggle to get by – and Guatemala’s particular circumstances mean women and children are especially vulnerable.
The ASOBAGRI cooperative was established to support, empower and bargain for small-scale farmers and their communities. Its Cafe con Manos de Mujer group provides training, small loans and other support for women who’re single, widowed or whose partners have left for the USA. At Karamu we think this is brilliant, and are excited to support Cafe con Manos de Mujer.
We’re proud to support these great Kiwi charities.
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Karamu insists on using only Ecoware’s genuinely compostable takeaway cups and lids at our home cafe.
It’s second nature to us to keep environment clean – we all have to live in it.
Our main home café Green Land has been minimising waste to landfil for ages, through recycling, and composting organic waste.
We use our relationships to help our customers become more waste-savvy.
Traditional roasting machines roast coffee in hot exhaust gases – including the pollutant NOx gasses. Our Diedrich hot air roaster heats clean air to roast our beans, creating 90% fewer NOx emissions.
Karamu’s beans come with a rich, fresh aromatic flavour free from burning, tainting or smoky residue – and they’re great for the environment too.
We believe that if coffee drinkers know how good a café is for the world, they can choose to use their purchasing power for good.
Conscious Consumers makes it easy for coffee drinkers to see if a café is doing the right thing. If you spot a Conscious Consumer badge in the window of a cafe, you know they have watertight credentials in that area.