Costa Rican Coffee Extends Fair Trade Practices

Homegrown is taking a new meaning when it comes to coffee served in Costa Rican cafes and residences. THRIVE Farmers Coffee approaches the production of your morning cup of java from a completely new approach. By eliminating the need for middlemen, exporters, importers, and even external roasters, this brand provides farmers with unlimited access to the market. While coffee farmers are largely underpaid elsewhere in the world, the new business model implemented by THRIVE makes it possible for coffee farmers in Costa Rica to enjoy higher wages and a better quality of life.

As a result, farmers have a vested interest in the end product they produce. Consequently, consumers are able to benefit from a better product. Coming around in a full circle, local farmers are able to pass on the benefits of improved livelihoods to their communities and even future generations.

Under the fair trade model, coffee farmers are able to receive a guaranteed minimum price of $1.40 per pound for their coffee. In exchange, the farmers agree to follow strict labor and environmental standards. Fair Trade International, a non-profit organization, hands down those standards. While this might sound as though it would benefit coffee farmers, some economic studies have found that Fair Trade can actually prevent coffee farmers from taking advantage of high market prices.

THRIVE’S new model makes it possible for co-ops to earn returns that are significantly higher than those attained under Fair Trade. In all fairness, Fair Trade did raise the bar in terms of public awareness regarding the social and economic conditions of coffee farmers around the world. The model implemented by THRIVE fills in the gaps.

Around the world, farmers who own five acres or even less grow 70 percent of the global coffee production. Most such farmers are located in very rural locales in developing nations. The global coffee industry amounts to $100 billion, yet the significant majority of coffee farmers are not able to earn a fair wage due to their distance from the end consumer. THRIVE is set to change that.

Along with offering coffee farmers with the ability to earn a better wage, THRIVE also takes great pride in maintaining an environmentally sustainable business practice. In fact, the brand has even won awards for their economic practices. As a result of the practices set in place, THRIVE is making it possible for true environmental and social sustainability to take place—first by providing local farmers with the ability to care for their own family, a practice that is certain to continue extending outwards and benefitting local communities as a whole.

James Drews

Vice President, Sales. Age 43 Prior to co-founding VESTA GROUP, James moved to Costa Rica in 1996 and began his real estate career here by co-founding Dominical Realty. In 2001, the company obtained a Coldwell Banker independent franchise, and three years later partnered with another Coldwell Banker franchise in Costa Rica to become Vesta Group, the Master-Franchise-holder for the entire country. As a member of the Global Association of Realtors and the U.S.-based National Association of Realtors, the Master Franchise has already grown to ten (10) offices throughout the country, with several more currently in process. James is married to a Costa Rican, and proud father of 3 daughters ages 7,10, and 20. James, is well respected among the local and foreign community, and carries high ethical standards, and a hard working family man that seeks to provide his customers with the best level of service possible. James goes out of his way to seek out new frontiers that are ahead of the wave, and specializes in rural and remote farmland, developing land and collecting legacy type of properties. Surfing big waves, fishing, hiking, and travel are favorite pastimes. Daily goal is a new discovery. Approaching 20 years of living in Costa Rica, James knows his territory well, and has much love for his new country and it's people, and will guide you well, and share his resources and local knowle​d​ge with you to make your new venture successful.​ ​