Peet's Coffee and Tea, the super-premium roaster of specialty coffee, announced today the formation of a strategic alliance with TransFair USA, the only organization certifying fair trade products in the US, to offer Fair Trade Certified coffee. The roast will contain 100% Fair Trade Certified coffee, which assures consumers that the farmers who grew the coffee received a fair living wage.

Peet's Fair Trade Blend will be available for $10.95 in Peet's Boston retail stores beginning on Sunday, September 24, 2000 and in all retail locations throughout the country, via mail order and through Peets.com starting October 9, 2000.

Peet's is executing a comprehensive marketing campaign in Boston to promote its Fair Trade Blend in conjunction with an educational campaign launched by TransFair and Oxfam America, a non-governmental organization dedicated to fighting poverty and injustice around the world. Beginning this month, Peet's will inform customers about the benefits of the Fair Trade movement through in-store educational materials, public relations efforts, online marketing and other communication methods.

"Peet's fully supports TransFair USA and is proud to offer our customers Fair Trade Certified coffee," said Jerry Baldwin, chairman of Peet's Coffee and Tea. "This is another meaningful effort that Peet's is undertaking to improve the working and living conditions of small farmers throughout the world. With this initiative, we are giving our customers the opportunity to positively impact the Fair Trade issue by purchasing this high quality coffee."

"Fair Trade Certified coffee gives us all an easy way to help family farmers and the environment with something as simple as a daily cup of coffee," says Paul Rice, TransFair's Executive Director. "By choosing Fair Trade Certified coffee, certified coffee companies and consumers are establishing a meaningful partnership with coffee farmers and their families -- a partnership that empowers the growers both socially and economically, so they can substantially improve the quality of their own lives. We are very enthusiastic that Peet's is launching a Fair Trade Blend. Their excellent reputation in the gourmet industry and their loyal customer base will greatly contribute to raising public awareness about the importance of supporting Fair Trade."

Why is Fair Trade needed?

Fair Trade supports coffee farmers by guaranteeing a decent, living wage for their harvest and encouraging organic cultivation methods that are safer for communities. As members of Fair Trade cooperatives, farmers are provided much-needed credit and are able to secure a better price because their co-ops export directly to importers. With the profits generated from receiving a Fair Trade wage, coffee growers are able to invest in their families' health care, in education, in farming equipment and in training of sustainable farming techniques.

Coffee is the second most valuable commodity in the world, following oil. The US consumes an estimated one-fifth (2.5 billion pounds) of global coffee production, making it the largest consumer in the world. Fair Trade promoters say if they can secure even a fraction of the market, it would be a victory for farming families. Fair Trade Certified coffee currently benefits 550,000 farming families in 20 countries around the world; an increase in US demand would dramatically increase that number.

About Peet's Coffee & Tea

Founded in Berkeley, CA in 1966, Peet's Coffee & Tea is a super-premium coffee roaster with a focus on delivering the freshest, deep-roasted beans for home and office enjoyment. With a strong mail order and e-commerce business and 57 retail stores, the company is dedicated to providing a personalized and superior experience for its customers to enjoy quality coffee, tea and related products. Peet's is a privately-held company committed to strategically growing its successful online, mail order and retail businesses while maintaining a unique culture and focus on customer satisfaction. For information about Peet's Coffee & Tea, visit www.peets.com or call 800/999-2132.

About TransFair

TransFair USA, a non-profit agency, is the only organization providing independent, third-party certification of Fair Trade products in the US. TransFair promotes mutually-beneficial relationships between farmers and coffee companies, and educates consumers about international trade and economic development. Through regular visits to Fair Trade farmer cooperatives, and partnerships with participating coffee companies in the US, TransFair guarantees that Fair Trade Certified products were grown and traded responsibly. For more information about Fair Trade and TransFair USA, visit www.transfairusa.org or call 510/663-5260.