McDonald’s Will Start Selling Organic, Fair Trade Coffee

From South Carolina’s The State, news that McDonald’s will start selling organic, fair-trade certified coffee in its New England stores next month:

The deal calls for Green Mountain Coffee Roasters to supply Newman’Β’s Own Organics blend coffee to more than 650 McDonald’s restaurants in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine and in the Albany, N.Y., region.

The coffee is certified as Fair Trade, a moniker that assures the beans are produced by farmers who are guaranteed a minimum wage for their harvests and are encouraged to practice organic and sustainable cultivation.

Much like my response to Wal-Mart’s recent moves, I’m skeptical of the motivation here — at the same time, it’s encouraging to believe that the demand for such a product is reaching the point that even a major player like McDonald’s can’t ignore it. And, of course, there’s the fact that McDonald’s coffee sucks (although I should offer a qualifier — I haven’t had any in a long time), so this should be a positive move in that sense.

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