Coffee Trade

After years of reluctance, Procter and Gamble Company is now selling fair-trade coffee. It is a more expensive gourmet-coffee variety that is intended to return more profits to growers. Activists have been lobbying P-and-G and other major U-S coffee sellers for years to sell fair-trade coffee. The activists say P-and-G's decision is a big boost for the effort to help poverty-stricken coffee growers who are being hurt by depressed market prices. Sales of fair-trade coffee still represent a small share of U-S coffee sales. P-and-G today began selling fair-trade coffee on its Millstone coffee Website under the "Mountain Moonlight" gourmet brand. The Cincinnati-based company says it will consider selling the coffee in stores if sales are brisk. Ten-ounce bags of Millstone coffee typically sell for $6.99. The fair-trade version is selling for two dollars more than that $8.99 per ten-ounce bag. P-and-G's decision does not affect its mainstream Folgers brand.