A pioneer in the cultivation and trade of organic specialty coffee, Garth Smith passed away early Sunday, January 11, at age 68, following a battle with cancer.
A friend of Roast Magazine, Smith left the logging industry in 1990 and began working for a Portland coffee roasting company, where he discovered not only his love for coffee, but also his wife Gaylene.
The Smiths soon after founded Organic Products Trading Company, where Garth positively touched the lives of countless small-scale farmers through the cultivation and trade of organic coffee. The Smiths later founded the Cafe Femenino Foundation, a nonprofit that supports projects improving the lives and livelihoods of women working in coffee-producing countries throughout the world.
The Smiths request that any outpouring of love be in the form of donations, in lieu of flowers, sent to Café Femenino Foundation through the Garth Smith Memorial Fund. Donations can be made online or by mail to :
Café Femenino Foundation
PO Box 2187
Here’s more from OPTCO on Smith and his remarkable contributions to the specialty coffee world:
Garth Smith, well known adventurer, coffee expert, and advocate for small-scale coffee producers around the world, passed away in the early morning hours of January 11th, 2015 surrounded by his family.
It was in the early 1990’s when he, with his wife Gaylene Smith, founded Organic Products Trading Company which would become a pioneer in the coffee industry for not only for providing high quality organic coffees internationally but also for the focus placed on the people who produced the coffee. A visionary in the coffee industry for over 25 years, Garth was one of the original trailblazers in the fair trade and organic coffee movements. His focus was always on social justice and awareness of the living conditions of impoverished coffee producers.
As co-founder of Cafe Femenino and the Cafe Femenino Foundation, with his wife Gaylene, he worked tirelessly to educate the coffee industry and to improve the lives of those without a voice. Organic Products Trading Company mourns the loss of a leader and mentor and feels fortunate to be able to continue the work that he began so many years ago.