These days, we have a special day for everything…Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, bagel day… and tomorrow it’s International Coffee Day so I thought I’d join in with my own spirited tribute to caffeine by telling you about a new Canadian free-trade coffee company I recently encountered during the Toronto Int’l Film Fest – the Doi Chaang Coffee Company headquartered in Vancouver, BC. I first met their representatives during a TIFF gift lounge visit and was thrilled to receive a bag of their Social Medium beans to try at home. OMG, the flavour is rich, aromatic but not acidic and has no bitter after-taste. My kinda brew!Thanks to their PR & Marketing Manager Brittany Brown for sending me some cool photos and product information; so here’s the story behind this unique Canadian company that is helping farmers and their families create a financially and agriculturally viable industry in Northern Thailand. Doi Chaang Coffee Co. is a Vancouver-based coffee company whose unique business model has been gaining recognition nation-wide. Since 2006, the company’s ‘beyond fair trade’ model has supported farmers living and working in a northern Thailand village with steady access to running water, electricity and improved infrastructure.
“We’re proud to be a family-owned business that allows us to give back and support our global community,” said John M. Darch, co-founder of Doi Chaang Coffee (pictured below left at the TIFF gift lounge in the Shangri-La Hotel). “Our relationship with the Doi Chang Village farmers stemmed from our desire to help a community that, despite their dedication and determination, have not been successful in helping themselves.” Doi Chaang has an equal partnership with Doi Chang village, in northern Thailand, meaning its farmers receive 50 per cent of the company’s profits. While Fairtrade partnerships provide fair working environments, wages and labour rights, Doi Chaang goes a step futher by providing 50 per cent ownership to the workers involved, which they’ve coined Beyond Fair Trade®. “Our sustainable sourcing model has enabled us to distribute to the eastern market which will help the Doi Chang Village continue to thrive,” said Darch. “Our customers are investing in the welfare of the farming families in Thailand, enhancing their standard of living, health care, education and cultural heritage and identity.” Doi Chaang Coffee Company is one of the most innovative, socially responsible, yet economically viable, specialty coffees on the market. Rated among the top 1% in the world, the coffee is the only single-estate, 100% Arabica, USDA Certified Organic, Fair Trade Certified and shade grown coffee grown in Thailand. The beans are cultivated and processed by the indigenous AKHA hill tribe in small, family owned gardens in Doi Chang Village located in the Chang Rai Province of Northern Thailand, but freshly roasted and packaged in B.C.
Doi Chaang coffee is available in Single-Estate roasts, Blends and biodegradable Keurig-compatible, single serve aroma cups in independent and major retailers across the country including Choices, Safeway, Thrifty’s, Longo’s, Sobeys and FreshCo. For more information, visit http://www.doichaangcoffee.com/.So the next time you fancy a brew-up, think about the impact purchasing fair-trade coffee has on the lives of those who grow and harvest the beans that make our mornings so bearable! HAPPY INTERNATIONAL COFFEE DAY!