Hoist the main sail, tharrr be coffee on the high seas!

Courtney Lang September 23, 2012

the Tres Hombres boat which is being used to transport the coffee cargo between Europe, the Caribbean and America.

Carrotmob is a new way for people to influence businesses to make them more sustainable. Instead of organizing boycotts, we offer to spend money as a group to support a business if the business agrees to make an improvement that we care about. Everyone wins – businesses get money and we achieve unprecedented social impact. And it works.

We just launched our first ever global climate campaign with Thanksgiving Coffee Company, an artisan coffee roaster in Northern California. The family-run company buys coffee beans from small farms and cooperatives around the world, and already embrace cutting-edge sustainability practices.  But we challenged them to do even more, and they have stepped up to the challenge.

Thanksgiving has agreed to embark on a journey to become the first coffee company in modern times to transport their coffee beans by wind-powered shipping instead of using container ships fueled by oil. However, they will only be able to take this action if we can prove that there is demand for sustainably transported coffee by buying $150,000 worth of coffee through the Carrotmob website:  http://carrotmob.org/thanksgiving

I’m asking you to help make this vision a reality. All you have to do is buy this “extraordinary, luxurious coffee.”  Nope, I didn’t make that up – it’s straight from Coffee Review, though I can personally vouch that the coffee is delicious.

Now imagine how this model could spread all Fair Trade products. We can reward companies for shifting to a Fair Trade model. We can reward retailers for agreeing to sell and showcase more Fair Trade products. A core challenge of the Fair Trade movement has always been to expand the market. Today, many people buy Fair Trade products, but businesses who haven’t yet made the leap have a hard time being sure that the demand will be there for their own products. We want to make Carrotmob a place where consumers can vote with their  money and make it blindingly clear to businesses just how strong the demand for Fair Trade products is.

I believe Carrotmob can serve as a secret weapon for the Fair Trade movement. But that won’t happen unless we get enough people to buy this coffee right now in order to send a message. Hope you guys are thirsty. I appreciate the support, and we’d love to hear any of your thoughts on our Facebook page.


Brent Schulkin
Founder of Carrotmob

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Courtney Lang, National Organizer | Fair Trade Campaigns

Courtney Lang brings over 5 years of community organizing to Fair Trade Towns USA, building both the Local Food and Fair Trade networks in Vermont. As Local Food Coordinator with City Market/Onion River Cooperative, Courtney worked with local producers, institutions and consumers to grow the local food system and organize a strategic model for community engagement through farm tours, workshops, and local food challenges. Like many in the Fair Trade industry, Courtney was inspired to take action in Fair Trade when she witnessed child-labor first hand in Costa Rica. As a founding member of Fair Trade Burlington, she has worked with economic development organizations, businesses, and consumers to build awareness of Fair Trade among Vermonters. She also worked with a Fair Trade USA licensee, Vermont Coffee Company, as Friend Ambassador where she united the story of Fair Trade to every purchase of coffee.