World Fairtrade Challenge

Results are in for the World Fairtrade Challenge. You’re a force, Ottawa! You crushed it.

A mug saying "Be part of the biggest fairtrade coffee break on earth"

During the World Fairtrade Challenge, every sale of a beverage using Fairtrade coffee beans like brewed coffee or an espresso-based latte counted a cup of Fairtrade coffee consumed. We kept track so that all of our guests could take part and be counted! Just in our shops alone we added over 26,000 total cups to the world total and helped get Canada edge out Australia for 7th place! Check out the link below to see how other challenges went or how other countries stacked up against us for fair trade.

Of course, 7th place is great and all and we really bumped up the number of cups for for North America, but if you take a look at the chart it looks like we’ve got a European problem to crack! The Belgians have a comfortable lead but if we keep pushing the effort for sustainable, Fairtrade practices, not only could we surpass Denmark next year but we’d have a lot more coffee farmers financially. Competition closer to home? We were this close to selling more Fairtrade cups of coffee in 19 Ottawa locations than in 45 Van Houtte cafes in the province of Quebec! Suffice it to say the capital region was well represented.

Fun and games aside, thank you so much for helping us to send a message about the importance of Fairtrade in Canada! There are companies who assure their guests that their beans are “traded fairly” or “ethically sourced” without an independent verification or third party to confirm. One of many benefits of Fairtrade is to have a mechanism beyond “trust us” to change a damaging system for the better. Our purchasing decisions influence which production and trading practices succeed. Fairtrade and quality premiums can improve the lives of coffee growing families and the community around them.

We've committed to working in close relationships with small-scale farmers through the Fairtrade system and to paying premiums for quality green coffees in order to create better opportunities for exceptional coffee producers. We also invest in the capacities of producer cooperatives - for example, our investment last year in the quality control laboratory at the Bukonzo Joint Cooperative in Uganda. These projects aim to raise quality, efficiency of operations and prices of the coffee sold by the cooperatives in our supply chain, thus improving the livelihood of their members.

Every fairly traded cup of coffee you drink matters. The cumulative impact of your choices has caused the Fairtrade presence in Canada to have grown from a small movement to a meaningful force for change for the market. You’re making the choice for Fairtrade in larger numbers each year, and by doing so you’re choosing to change how trade is done for the better.

To learn more about the World Fairtrade Challenge, visit! For more information on Fair Trade in Canada generally, visit our friends at

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