News Release
 March 31, 2004
CONTACT: Stefanie Zakowicz

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Stefanie Zakowicz March 31, 2004 (716) 635-5885

Tops and TransFair USA Partner on Fair Trade Certified" Coffee Initiatives

Williamsville, NY -- Tops announced that it will be partnering with TransFair USA, the nations only independent, third-party certifier of Fair Trade products, to offer five varieties of Fair Trade Certified coffee in the majority of its stores. The Fair Trade Certified" organic coffee is marketed under the brand name Café JaVaNa gourmet coffee and is available in five blends  Breakfast Blend, French Roast, Colombian, Sumatran, and Sumatran Decaf.

"Tops has a long standing record as a socially responsible company. Offering Fair Trade Certified coffee to our valued customers builds on that commitment, said Max Henderson, executive vice president and general manager. Fair Trade Certified is the gold standard of socially responsible certification initiatives. And Tops is happy to partner with TransFair USA to bring the Fair Trade experience to our suppliers and customers.

TransFair applauds Tops for its leadership and commitment to a fair deal for coffee farmers around the world, said Paul Rice, President and CEO of TransFair USA. Each purchase of Fair Trade Certified coffee enables family farmers to stay on the land, keep their kids in school and invest in the future. Moreover, Tops Fair Trade coffee launch is capturing the attention of the entire industry, signaling the arrival of Fair Trade products in mainstream channels. This is a groundbreaking move.

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Page 2 of 3 Tops Partners with Fair Trade

The Need for Fair Trade Certification Over the past five years, the world market price for coffee has fallen 70%. Last year, prices dipped to their lowest ever, creating a crisis for 25 million farmers around the world who depend on coffee for their livelihood. Today, most small farmers are unable to cover their production costs or provide a decent living for their families.

By selling their coffee under internationally accepted Fair Trade standards, family farmers are guaranteed a fair price. Fair Trade helps farmers to bootstrap their way out of desperate poverty.

Since its founding five years ago, TransFair USA has certified 41 million pounds of coffee, generating $34 million of additional income for small farmers in Latin America, Africa, and Asia. Farmers typically use the additional income to cover production costs and improve healthcare, housing, and education for their families. Higher incomes also allow farmers to devote more meticulous attention to their crops to ensure a high quality harvest.

Almost 85% of Fair Trade Certified coffee in the U.S. is also certified organic and most is grown under the canopy of bird-friendly shade trees, protecting wildlife habitats and the soil.

About Tops Tops Markets, Inc. is one of five operating companies under Ahold USA, one of the largest supermarket operations in the US. Tops employs nearly 21,000 associates and operates 161 supermarkets as Tops Markets in New York and Pennsylvania, 54 Tops Markets in Northeast Ohio, and 204 Wilson Farms Neighborhood Food Stores in Western New York. More information about Tops is available at - more - Page 3 of 3 Tops Partners with Fair Trade

About TransFair USA TransFair USA, a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit, is the sole Fair Trade certification organization in the U.S. Its rigorous audit system, which tracks products from farm to market, verifies industry and farmer compliance with Fair Trade criteria. TransFair authorizes companies to display the Fair Trade Certified label on products that meet this high standard. TransFair USA is part of a global certification network with a 15-year history of success in over 60 countries. In addition to coffee, TransFair also certifies Fair Trade tea, cocoa, chocolate and bananas. To learn more, visit



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