Label für Bio Fairtrade Kaffee aus der Schweiz.

Coffee from organic cultivation and fair trade

Fair trade food plays a central role for us in promoting social and ecological production. This applies in particular to products that cannot be grown in our country and have to be imported from countries in the Global South. We have been an official catering partner of Fairtrade Max Havelaar for over ten years and are continuously expanding our Fairtrade range - including our coffee. Since June 2024, we have been sourcing all of our coffee in Fairtrade and organic quality from the traditional St. Gallen roasting company Turm Kaffee.

Durch die Vollumstellung auf Fairtrade-Kaffee können die Kleinbauern-Kooperativen eine deutlich grössere Menge ihrer Ernte zu Fairtrade-Konditionen anbieten.
Cooperative in Planadas, Colombia
The cooperative was founded out of the desire to create better working conditions and to ensure that the efforts put into the production of quality coffee are rewarded with a corresponding yield. Photo: © Fairtrade Max Havelaar

Fairtrade Max Havelaar

The Fairtrade label identifies products that are produced and traded under fair conditions. It offers plantation workers and small farmers in Latin America, Africa and Asia the opportunity to sustainably improve their living conditions. Fairtrade plays a particularly important role in the coffee sector: around 80% of the world's coffee comes from around 25 million smallholder families, most of whom farm less than 10 hectares of land. Many of these farmers earn less than 2 dollars a day and face numerous other challenges. By working with Fairtrade Max Havelaar, they can improve their financial situation.

Diverse challenges for coffee farmers

  • Climate change: Changes in climate, such as unpredictable rainfall patterns, droughts and rising temperatures, can have a significant impact on coffee production.
  • Plant diseases and pests: Diseases such as coffee rust and pests such as the coffee cherry weevil can destroy harvests and reduce the quality of the coffee.
  • Price fluctuations: The world market price for coffee fluctuates wildly, plunging small farmers into financial uncertainty.
  • Weak negotiating position: Small farmers who are not organized in cooperatives are often at the mercy of local traders and have no access to market and price information.
  • Poverty trap: Due to small cultivation areas and low yields, many coffee farming families are caught in a poverty trap.
  • Market dominance: The coffee supply chain is dominated by a few multinational corporations that control 45% of the coffee market.
  • Sustainability: Implementing sustainable farming practices can be costly and labor intensive, although necessary in the long term.
  • Rising costs: Rising agricultural and household costs, often triggered by economic crises, place an additional burden on coffee farming families.
  • Political and economic instability: Political unrest and economic instability in the coffee-growing regions can make coffee cultivation even more difficult.

Help for small farmers

Fairtrade is introducing standards to ensure that products are grown in a resource-conserving and environmentally friendly way and that producer communities are strengthened. Locally, Fairtrade offers training on climate and environmental issues, including direct aid for reconstruction after extreme weather events. Together with trading partners, NGOs and other institutions, Fairtrade implements climate protection projects in the Global South that focus on adaptation measures and the improvement of sustainable farming methods. Stable Fairtrade minimum prices provide a safety net and additional premiums improve the financial situation of farmers. In campaigns, Fairtrade provides information about the connection between trade and climate justice and works to ensure that the voices of small farmers are heard in political decision-making processes.

Vier Menschen lächelnd draussen in grüner Umgebung.
Fairtrade training courses
Fairtrade takes particular care to ensure that all genders and young people are included in the training courses. Photo: © Fairtrade Max Havelaar
Mann lächelnd vor gestapelten Säcken.",

Origin of our coffee beans

Our coffee comes from Fairtrade cooperatives in Honduras, India, Colombia and Peru. Cooperatives enable small farmers to join forces on the market. When selling their harvest, Fairtrade farmers are awarded the Fairtrade minimum price and a Fairtrade premium. The cooperatives, which manage the funds democratically and decide together how best to use them, receive these funds. The Fairtrade premium can be used to improve the farm or convert to organic farming, for example, but also to finance social projects in the local community. This includes, for example, the renovation of schools or the establishment of a health center.

Cooperatives

  • Asociación de Productores Agrícolas y Pecuarios Ecológicos Brisas del Quebradón (ASOBRIS), Planadas, Colombia
  • Cooperativa Agraria de Servicios Múltiples Sanchirio Palomar, Peru
  • Manarcadu Social Service Society, Kerala Kottayam, India
  • Cooperativa Agropecuaria, Corquín, Honduras


*Depending on how the respective harvests turn out, there may be changes at short notice.

A commitment to the environment

In addition to the Fairtrade label, our coffee also meets the requirements of the EU Organic Regulation. The EU organic label stands for a respectful approach to nature and the preservation of biodiversity. It guarantees that strict ecological guidelines have been adhered to. The term "organic" is protected and may only be used for products from organic farming.

Organic cultivation relies on mixed cultures, which improves soil quality and promotes biodiversity. Only the ripe coffee cherries are harvested by hand, which is not only more sustainable, but also guarantees the quality of the coffee. In organic coffee cultivation, synthetic pesticides are also banned, which protects the environment. Decomposed plant residues are used as fertilizer, creating a natural and sustainable cycle.

Person inmitten grüner Pflanzen in bewaldeten Bergen.
Organic plantations
In addition to Fairtrade standards, more and more cooperatives are also adopting organic standards. Photo: © Fairtade Max Havelaar

Our key coffee figures at SV

Over 110 tons of coffee per year...

...we are switching to Max Havelaar and organic certified coffee.

Over 9 million cups of coffee...

...are served in our restaurants every year.

Mann, der an gerösteten Kaffeebohnen riecht.

Turm Kaffee: Tradition and quality since 1761

We are delighted to have found a partner in Turm Handels AG with whom we can realize our ambition of producing coffee from organic cultivation and fair trade.

Turm Handels AG is the oldest coffee roasting company in Switzerland and has stood for excellent coffee since 1761. As a 100% Swiss family business, Turm operates two independent quality roasting plants in St. Gallen and Schaffhausen.

For Turm, coffee is not just a drink, but a culture. Today, it has almost the same status as wine: origin, processing and vintage are decisive factors for true coffee lovers.

The motto "Committed to quality, produced to today's standards" is at the heart of Turm's actions. Turm's high standards have not changed over its 260-year history and are just as valid today as they were then.

The coffee range