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Unformatted text preview: Fair-trade coffee begins to heat up mainstream market By Melissa Allison Seattle Times business reporter For all the buzz about the importance of buying fair-trade coffee, it represents only 2.2 percent of beans sold in the United States. It has been a phenomenon of the specialty-coffee market, where better quality brew tends to sell at higher prices. That category includes Starbucks, which says it's the largest purchaser of fair- trade coffee in North America. The fair-trade concept aims to lift farmers out of poverty, and it appeals to young and higher- income coffee drinkers, said Marcia Mogelonsky, a senior analyst at the market-research firm Mintel International Group in Chicago. The logo has begun appearing in mainstream outlets as well, including grocery stores, some McDonald's and Dunkin' Donuts. "It's one thing when Starbucks has it, but when you see Dunkin' have that sticker on their door, it means it's made the mainstream," said Carol Cone, chairwoman of Cone, a Boston-based strategy and marketing firm that specializes in branding for causes. If she's right, it could mean a better life for people like Marcial Garcia, who owns a 16-acre coffee farm in northern Nicaragua. The certifying group TransFair USA brought Garcia to Seattle last week to spread the word about fair trade....
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- Spring '09