Many people drink coffee as part of a daily routine. The phrase “fair trade” has been established as a keyword in the coffee industry, among others. But what exactly is the benefit of choosing fair trade coffee over the average cup?
Our Recommended Fair Trade Coffees
Fair Trade certified coffee is guaranteed to be produced by farmers that are paid a fair price for their product, allowing those involved to have a sustainable livelihood. This process is important for small-scale farmers, especially those in remote areas. Fair trade allows these farmers to maintain their land and continue to make a living by producing quality products.
The main problem is that larger growers can sell their beans at a very low price, especially if they don’t pay their farmers a living wage. Smaller farms then are under pressure to lower their prices, which makes it harder for them to make a living or pay their employees fairly. Supporting Fair Trade helps to ensure that people are paid a fair wage for their products and are treated with dignity.
A brilliant example of fair trade coffee is a group called Café Feminino. Café Feminino was formed in response to women’s rights issues in the coffee industry. Women make up about 30 percent of the 25 million coffee farmers in the world. A group of 460 women coffee producers in Peru who wanted to ensure that gender equality was upheld in the industry organized Café Feminino.
Is Fair Trade Coffee Organic?
It is important to note that fair trade coffees are not necessarily certified organic. However, about half of fair trade coffees are organic. Fair trade coffee certification does include some environmental criteria, including protection of water resources and natural areas, promoting diversification in agriculture, reducing pesticide and fertilizer use, and banning the use of GMOs (genetically modified organisms).
Principles of Fair Trade
Other fair trade principles include the guarantee safe working conditions and sustainable wages for workers. Direct trade allows farmers to sell directly without relying on middlemen to buy and resell product. Fair trade also promotes community development.
What is the Cost of Fair Trade Coffee?
Another great reason to choose fair trade coffee is that the price differentiation between fair trade and standard coffee is minimal. Because coffee can be easily packaged and shipped, it is possible to maintain reasonable prices for a quality fair trade product.