* Canada, U.S. Fair Trade coffee imports up 18 pct in 2012
* Rainforest Alliance certified coffee output at 4.5 pct
NEW YORK, April 19 Coffee beans from farms
certified as environmentally and socially responsible by Fair
Trade USA and Rainforest Alliance reached a record high in 2012.
Production of Rainforest Alliance certified coffee reached
4.5 percent of global output in 2012, or 375,000 tonnes (827
million lbs), up from 3.3 percent in 2011 and a slight 1.5
percent in 2009, the New York-based organization said.
Fair Trade certified imports to the United States and Canada
rose to a record high in 2012 of 163 million lbs, up 18 percent
from 2011, Oakland, California-based Fair Trade USA said.
Rainforest Alliance and Fair Trade USA, both non-profit
organizations, train farmers and certify farms according to
criteria that include agricultural practices that are less
environmentally harmful and better quality of life for workers.
The certified coffee fetches a premium, which is typically
passed along to the customer.
Fair Trade USA's record U.S. imports equated to an
additional $32 million in what the organization calls "community
development premiums" earned by farming communities, it said in
a release last week.
Fair Trade Certified U.S. coffee attracted 60 new importers
and roasters last year, while 50 new products were launched.
Rainforest Alliance attributed much the growth in the coffee
it certified in 2012 to significant quantities being purchased
by large companies such as McDonald's Corp's U.S. and
Canadian operations, Caribou Coffee Co In, Second
Cup, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc and Nespresso
. McDonald's USA recently began sourcing 100 percent of
its espresso from Rainforest Alliance Certified farms, the
"Over 118,000 coffee farms covering almost 800,000 acres
(323,500 hectares) are now Rainforest Alliance Certified and
meet rigorous standards for best practices and environmental and
social sustainability," Rainforest Alliance said in a release
Coffee is not the only commodity certified by Rainforest
Alliance that has become increasingly popular. Global production
of its certified tea rose to 11.5 percent in 2012, up from 9.4
percent in 2011 and 3.2 percent in 2010, a Rainforest Alliance
Rainforest Alliance certified cocoa production soared to 10
percent of global output from 2.7 percent in 2011. Bananas made
up 15 percent of global production in 2012, she added.