Have you ever wondered what that little Fair Trade or Fair Trade International label on your coffee bag means, and why Fair Trade coffee?
Most people don’t really think about the journey coffee beans went through before reaching your cup. Our delicious cup of Joe is all thanks to the farmers working very hard half way across the world.
We at Full Coffee Roast believe in Fair Trade coffee — this ensures that you always know where your coffee has come from and how the farmers were treated.
There is no doubt that Fair Trade benefits small farmers. When you choose to buy Fair Trade coffee, you are helping these farmers improve their lives, the lives of their children, as well as the lives of the people in their community. What kind of coffee you choose to buy is a simple decision that can have a positive impact on lots of people.
So, the next time you’re enjoying a cup of your favorite coffee, consider the communities that produced the coffee beans. Think about how you have helped improve those communities’ quality of life and given their children a chance for a better future by simply choosing to buy Fair Trade coffee!
- What Is Fair Trade?
- What Does The Fair Trade Label Mean?
- Why Buy Fair Trade Coffee?
- 1. Excellent Wage System
- 2. Community Benefits
- 3. Discrimination Is Not Allowed
- 4. Child Labor Can Be Reduced
- 5. Improved Social Conditions
- 6. Small Business Owners Can Become Internationally Competitive
- 7. Organic Techniques Are Used To Create Fair Trade Products
- 8. Guaranteed Minimum Price
- 9. Multiple Products Are Available
- How Coffee Becomes Fair Trade Certified
- Why Is Fair Trade So Important?
- Should You Only Buy Fair Trade-Certified Coffee?
- 3 Popular Fair Trade Coffee Brands
What Is Fair Trade?
Fair Trade “is a trading partnership, based on dialogue, transparency, and respect, that seeks greater equity in international trade,” according to the World Fair Trade Organization.
In developing countries, farmers and artisans are disadvantaged when it comes to entering markets, compared to businesses in developed nations. A commitment to Fair Trade allows these farmers and artisans to have an opportunity to partake in the international market. Fair Trade companies always consider how their actions may affect society, the economy, and the environment.
What Does The Fair Trade Label Mean?
Farmers are paid a fair price for their produce. They will also receive help for community development projects, including initiatives to improve education, clean energy, tree planting or improving water supplies.
These farmers will receive even higher premiums if the coffee is Fair Trade Certified and Organic.
Fair Labor Conditions
Fair Trade farm workers are given fair wages and labor conditions. Forced labor or child labor is highly prohibited.
Farmers are on the front line regarding climate change. As the unforeseeable consequences the climate crisis have continued to threaten farmers’ livelihoods worldwide, it is very important to stick to Fair Trade products where possible.
Fair Trade farmers utilize more sustainable farming methods to protect the welfare of both the farmers and the ecosystem. This means agrochemicals and Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) are not allowed on these farms. Fair Trade farm workers protect the environment and animals by intercropping plant species to maintain soil fertility and brace themselves for the changing climate.
Farmers of Fair Trade coffee engage in direct trade with importers who make purchases from Fair Trade Certified producer organizations. These farmers are allowed to compete in the international market by removing the unnecessary middlemen.
Fair Trade farmers may invest their premiums projects such as:
- Environmental stewardship
- Infrastructure improvements
- Scholarship programs
- Healthcare services
Fair Trade farmers get to decide where to invest their revenues.
Why Buy Fair Trade Coffee?
1. Excellent Wage System
When committed to Fair Trade, living wages are more than just a few cents per hour. Many cooperatives offer considerably higher wages for workers compared to what the general market supports. They also contribute to the local community to support its workers, which includes funding for modern health services, educational opportunities, and dissemination of sustainable agricultural techniques.
2. Community Benefits
Fair Trade also provides amenities from cooperatives and suppliers, which allow workers to work in conditions that exceed local standards. In addition, worker safety is a top priority — the use of harmful chemicals and other substances is highly prohibited.
3. Discrimination Is Not Allowed
Fair Trade workers are free from discrimination, which allows equal job opportunities that may not always be true for local workers. Discrimination based on gender and religion is the main issue for them. This is why there are many women workers in cooperatives since they can earn three times as much income (or even more) through Fair Trade.
4. Child Labor Can Be Reduced
Many children spend long hours of labor without receiving any compensation, or if they do, it is only a small fraction compared to what they deserve. Since workers receive fair wages through Fair Trade practices, it lessens the need for families to make their children work to help support their household. These children can receive a proper education instead of being forced to work.
5. Improved Social Conditions
The social conditions in small communities and villages have dramatically improved over the past 20 years that Fair Trade cooperatives have been operating in some regions. Profitability has increased due to better business education, while safety and health have also improved. Furthermore, farming methods have become more efficient, which results in higher yields with less work.
6. Small Business Owners Can Become Internationally Competitive
When small cooperatives and business owners receive Fair Trade certification, they can now compete with large companies on a global scale. Since the price and the distribution are managed equally when the products are imported, large-scale buyers cannot exploit workers or drive small, competitive cooperatives out of business.
7. Organic Techniques Are Used To Create Fair Trade Products
The debate about the benefits and risks of eating GMO foods has become more prevalent, especially in developed countries. In the world of Fair Trade, there is no debate. Organic farming methods are used all the time, which results in a sustainable growth pattern that the ecosystem can support year after year.
You may also be interested in reading our guide on how is coffee grown.
8. Guaranteed Minimum Price
The cooperatives and producers are assured of a fixed return for the commodities they produce after acquiring Fair Trade certification. The minimum price can never drop below the market level — this is why so many people invest in local communities. Community investments increase market pricing, which makes it possible to produce goods with a higher profit margin.
9. Multiple Products Are Available
Fair Trade is continuously growing to include most products produced today, from freshwater prawns to precious metals.
How Coffee Becomes Fair Trade Certified
Coffee manufacturers and growers who sell their products through Fair Trade organizations must pay a minimum price that is higher compared to the market price of coffee. Several organizations certify coffee as Fair Trade, including Fairtrade America, Fair Trade Certified, and Fairtrade International.
Why Is Fair Trade So Important?
Coffee farmers encounter many difficulties in their daily lives, while coffee lovers reap the results of their labor.
Many farmers in developing countries are not compensated fairly for their work. They lack direct access to the market, so they often sell their produce to middlemen. Farmers are forced to give up their land because of a debt cycle, destroying these communities’ social fabric and harming the environment in the process.
By simply buying Fair Trade coffee, you can help these farmers enhance their lives and the lives of their children or community. The coffee you buy may seem insignificant to you, yet it can have a positive impact on countless other people.
- Consumers: Fair Trade means you can feel good about your purchases.
- Producers: Fair Trade farmers receive a fair wage and can better their community and environment.
- Earth: Since Fair Trade rewards eco-friendly farming methods it can play a role in the fight against climate change.
As you prepare to sit back down and enjoy your coffee consider the community behind it.
The Fair Trade label is easily recognizable and respected. With Fair Trade-Certified coffee, you can be sure that the beans were grown using strict standards to support farmers, the community, and Mother Nature.
Should You Only Buy Fair Trade-Certified Coffee?
Like any certification, Fair Trade certification will cost you money, and not all coffee farmers, coffee producers, or producer groups have the means to participate in the certification process to have a Fair Trade label.
Whether through direct trade connections with roasters or more often in long-term relationships with coffee importers and exporters, many producers, especially of specialty products like coffee, do receive increased premiums based on the quality.
Having said that, people who only buy Fair Trade-Certified coffee are guaranteed a specific amount of compensation.
3 Popular Fair Trade Coffee Brands
Here are some Fair Trade-Certified coffee brands that you should try:
- Ethical Bean Coffee
- Rhino Horn Coffee
- Kicking Horse Coffee
You can also inquire at your local coffee shop to know what coffee brands they would recommend. If they don’t support Fair Trade coffee yet, then this might be your chance to let them know about this coffee. You may also be interested in reading our guide on the 8 best US coffee brands of 2022.
- Medium Dark Roast
- Ground Coffee
- 8 oz Bag