Zensho practices fair trade with producers in developing countries based on its Corporate Vision of eradicating hunger and poverty from the world
Fair Trade at Zensho: Providing Relief from Hunger and Poverty with Every Cup of Coffee
The Zensho Group serves fair trade coffee, cocoa, and tea at many of its restaurants. The products supplied in our restaurants are produced by farmers around the world, and our employees check quality and safety directly on-site. Income is provided to producers from profit from all of the drinks served in our restaurants.
Although the amount incomes per cup is small, since these products are consumed at Zensho Group restaurants across the country, the total impact can make a major difference in the lives of growers. We invite you to enjoy Zensho’s fair trade products at our stores.
Zensho Group restaurants serving fair trade products
Customers can enjoy Zensho fair trade coffee, cocoa, and tea at the following Zensho Group restaurants. Special attention is paid to both production and brewing methods.
Zensho fair trade products, including canned goods and drip bags, can be purchased online at Sukiya e-shop!
Products are also sold over the counter at some Zensho Group stores.
What Is Fair Trade?
Fair trade is a trading and economic system that aims to enhance the lives of producers by purchasing products produced by small-scale farmers and craftsmen in developing countries at fair prices and selling them to consumers.
Why Zensho Promotes Fair Trade
We provide and sell safe, high-quality products purchased through fair trade at more than 4,700 Zensho Group stores throughout the world. This produces fair incomes for producers in developing countries, leading to improved quality of life and economic independence.
Zensho’s Fair Trade System (Coffee)
Fair Trade Emphasizing Communication with Producers
Zensho concludes agreements directly with producers’ groups or through NGOs and provides technical assistance in addition to paying a consideration. We also provide cooperation in the effective utilization of the social premium obtained by producers’ groups. Our goal is to secure long-term trading partners by supporting improvement in producers’ incomes and helping to establish educational, medical, and local infrastructure.
As a result, we secure stable trading volume and offer safe, high-quality coffee, cocoa, and tea to customers at affordable prices.
Commitment to Taste
Growers doing business with Zensho engage in production through recycling-based sustainable organic farming that makes the most of the natural environment. Our specialist team includes staff certified as Classificador de Café,* who procure high-quality products through direct, on-site transactions with growers.
* Classificador de Cafe
A qualification certified by the Brazil Santos Chamber of Commerce for assessing and grading the quality of coffee beans
Zensho carries out all process controls from production regions until arrival in Japan to procure safe products.
We check the conditions of plantations and the jute bags and trucks used. We also perform checks on any agricultural chemicals used and carry out checks on residues through sample testing prior to shipment.
We provide on-site technical assistance in order to improve quality. We recommend acquisition of JAS* organic certification and we currently procure high-quality coffee with JAS organic certification from East Timor, Mexico, Peru, and Ecuador.
* Japan Agricultural Standards
A healthy lifestyle for producers is essential for improving product quality. Zensho provides support for improvements in the lifestyle of producers through long-term partnerships, and we procure high-quality products by facilitating healthy, sustainable productions.
Countries where Zensho promotes fair trade
Grower cooperatives near Kilimanjaro began selling fair trade coffee to Zensho in 2009. The social premiums added to each transaction are used to support initiatives to save the lives of women and babies during childbirth.
The Chingwa grower cooperative in Rwanda began selling fair trade coffee to Zensho in 2011. It has used its social premium revenues to build water supply facilities, which are inadequate in the region, and elementary school buildings.
Democratic Republic of the Congo
Zensho began purchasing fair trade coffee in 2014 in partnership with TWIN, a United Kingdom-based fair trade group.
A grower cooperative in the Kayanza region of Burundi began selling fair trade coffee to Zensho in 2013. In order to support a group of female growers, who had lost their husbands to civil war, we are supporting the promotion of organic agriculture.
A grower cooperative in the Mzuzu region of Malawi began selling fair trade coffee to Zensho in 2013. We are providing assistance for female growers and promotion of organic agriculture through the social premium.
Growers’ cooperatives in southwest Uganda began selling fair trade coffee to Zensho in 2012. We are supporting the building of clinics and a maternity ward with the social premium.
Zensho began buying fair trade tea in the area around Mt. Kenya in 2009. With the social premium, we are supporting the repair of a nursery which supports growers with children.
Zensho began buying fair trade tea in the Darjeeling area and fair trade coffee in southern India in 2012. We are supporting the construction of PC rooms and English language schools for the children of farm workers with the social premium.
Zensho began buying fair trade tea in the Ruhuna area of Sri Lanka in 2013 in partnership with the Japanese NGO PARCIC. We are supporting the promotion of organic agriculture with the social premium.
Zensho began buying fair trade coffee from growers’ cooperatives in East Timor in 2007 in cooperation with the Japanese NGOs Peace Winds Japan and PARCIC. The social premium is being used to support the replanting of coffee trees with lower harvests due to aging and the construction of water supply facilities.
Papua New Guinea
Zensho began buying fair trade coffee from Kongo Coffee Limited in Simbu Province, Papua New Guinea in 2010. We are supporting projects to help children with intractable diseases and the construction of elementary schools with the social premium.
Growers’ cooperatives in Chiapas in southeast Mexico began selling fair trade coffee to Zensho in 2010. We are supporting the construction of water storage tanks and a poultry farming initiative aimed at improving nutrition with the social premium.
Zensho began buying fair trade coffee in Nicaragua in 2014 in partnership with TWIN, a United Kingdom fair trade group. With the social premium, we are supporting measures to tackle coffee tree diseases, which cause a decline in production volume.
Growers’ cooperatives in Costa Rica began selling fair trade coffee to Zensho in 2013. We are supporting the construction of classrooms and the provision of educational equipment and stationery such as writing implements with the social premium.
Since November 2010, Zensho has been buying fair trade coffee and cocoa powder from Peru. The resulting social premiums were used to construct a library and rebuild cafeterias at kindergartens.
Growers’ cooperatives in the region of Cascol in Manabí, Ecuador, began to sell fair trade coffee to Zensho in 2011. We are supporting the construction of elementary school buildings, of which there is a shortage in the region, with the social premium.
Zensho began buying fair trade coffee in Cuba in 2012. Although the fair trade movement began as a response to the deficiencies of capitalism, this is a pioneering example of fair trade with a socialist country.