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Fair Trade Coffee

The Fair-Trade Coffee - A unique blend of Flavor and Social Awareness

 

Fair Trade coffee does more than taste great; it is produced in such a way that it nourishes the body, mind, and soul of anyone who buys it!

There are a lot of Fair-Trade coffees for you to enjoy. You will see how your money is spent when you buy Fair Trade, and you will realize how much of a difference you are making to the lives of those producing a quality product. This will also enable you to taste the difference.

What is Fair trade?

You've most likely heard of Fair Trade before, but the name "Fair Trade" is only part of the story. Fair trade is a revolutionary idea in action. This program aims to bring together the producer (coffee growers) and the consumer (coffee drinkers) in a more equitable and meaningful way. The purpose of this arrangement is to ensure that fair prices are paid to producers in developing countries. A fair-trade organization supports producers and encourages environmental farming practices while prohibiting child labor and physical labor.

What is Fair-Trade Coffee?

The term fair trade coffee refers to coffee that has been certified as being produced in accordance with fair trade standards by fair trade organizations, whose goal is to promote greater equity in international trade through dialogue, transparency, and respect. These partnerships offer better trading conditions to the coffee bean farmers, contributing to sustainable development. Coffee farmers market their harvests via direct, long-term contracts with international buyers, developing the skills they need to compete in the global market.

Fair Trade Coffee worker picking coffee in the morning

Certification of Fair-Trade coffee is offered by several organizations such as Fairtrade America, Fairtrade International, and Fair Trade Certified.

What is fair-trade organic coffee?

"Organic" in a generic sense simply means "derived from living matter" or "containing carbon," but in the world of certifications, the term has much more specific-and complex meanings. Even though man-made chemicals (namely fertilizers, pesticides, and disease control measures) have been in use since the mid-19th and late-19th centuries, standards, regulations, and certifications that define what we mean by "organic" today were established in 1967. Although organic certification requirements differ by country - Japan's certification is considered more stringent than the USDA's, -but the basic principles are the same: No harmful chemical pesticides, fungicides, or fertilizers, and very rigorous water purification and waste disposal. Farms and producers are regularly audited to ensure that their coffee was grown without the assistance of synthetic ingredients or additives. Coffee must not only come from an organic-certified producer, but also be handled by exporters, importers, and roasted by a company that has been audited and awarded the organic mark.

The Fair-Trade Organic label means that the farming and agricultural practices used to manufacture the product are in compliance with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Fair-Trade USA, a non-governmental non-profit agency. As a result, consumers of coffee can rest assured that they are purchasing healthy, environmentally friendly coffee that is not harmful to farm workers.

What was the beginning of fair-trade coffee?

Since the 1960s and 1970s, fair trade products have existed. But certification and labeling of coffee started in the late 1980s. There was too little regulation of the world coffee market to ensure that the producers could make a profit. The goal was to increase the price of 'fair trade' products to a healthy minimum per pound. Additionally, it was introduced for ethical reasons to prevent farms from using forced labor or child labor.

Fair Trade Organic Coffee

1988 marked the first year that fair trade products began to be labeled in the Netherlands under the Max Havelaar Foundation. The largest fair-trade organization in the world, Fairtrade International (FOL), was founded in 1997. As of today, the Max Havelaar Foundation is a part of Fairtrade International.

What are Fair trade Organizations?

A definition of fair-trade labels sold through supermarkets was developed by FINE, an association of four international fair-trade networks (Fairtrade Labelling Organizations International, World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO), Network of European World shops and European Fair-Trade Association (EFTA)). Fairtrade Labelling Organization standards are the most widely used today. Internationally, the Fairtrade Labelling Organization (FLO) is responsible for overseeing the fair-trade system. Producers, traders, and retailers comply with Fairtrade Standards to ensure high standards within the fair-trade system. These organizations have the following goals

  • The establishment of fair-trade standards

Through an independent, transparent, and competent standard-setting process, FLO proposes Fairtrade Standards to its board of directors, which determines if they are met. To be considered fair to producers or traders, each must meet both the Generic Standards and Product Standards. This is aimed at establishing long-term trading relationships and ensuring the sustainability of the environment.

  • Facilitating and promoting fair trade business

To match supply and demand, the FLO works with both producer organizations and traders. Additionally, it improves their access to the market and strengthens these organizations.

  • Making the case for Fairtrade Justice

FLO has developed a special platform called FINE (standing for the initial letters of FLO, IFAT, NEWS, and EFTA) for working together with other international fair-trade organizations to promote trade justice in debates on trade and development.

What was the Need for “Fairly Traded” Coffee?

Globally, coffee is traded as a commodity and is often sold at a loss by its growers. As part of the coffee industry, middlemen - those who buy and sell coffee intending to maximize their profits - set the price that growers are paid for their coffee. Typically, growers are helpless and are often made to feel lucky if they have received even a little for their coffee. Middlemen thus take advantage of the pickers and growers and profit at their expense, often leaving them in poverty.

The advantages of using fair trade coffee:

Fair price:

Farmers receive fair prices for their harvest and special incentives for community development projects; organic products receive even higher incentives. Farmers' organizations can also receive pre-harvest credits.

Fair Trade Coffee beans

Environmental sustainability:

The use of harmful agrochemicals and genetically modified organisms (GMOs) is strictly prohibited in favor of environmentally sustainable farming methods that preserve ecosystems and protect farmers' health. Farmers who use fair trade practices protect the land and wildlife habitat by intercropping plant species to improve soil fertility and prevent erosion. Programs aimed at protecting the environment, such as water conservation, proper waste disposal, and banning planting in protected areas, further encourage environmental conservation.

Fair labor conditions:

Fair trade farms offer their workers freedom of association, a safe working environment, and a fair wage. Forced child labor is illegal on these farms.

Direct trade:

By buying directly from fair trade producer groups, importers eliminate unnecessary middlemen and enable farmers to develop the business skills needed to compete globally.

Democratic and transparent organizations:

A fair-trade farmer or farm worker should be able to document a democratic process for deciding how to invest fair trade revenues.

Community development:

 The fair-trade premiums paid by fair trade farmers and workers are used to fund scholarship programs, healthcare services, and training programs for quality improvement.

The bottom line

There is no doubt that Fair Trade certification has had a positive impact on the coffee industry as well as many others, in that it promotes awareness of the importance of a fair price and working conditions for coffee farmers. Although Fair Trade is not the only means by which coffee farmers can improve their livelihoods, spotting a Fair-Trade sticker on a bag is always a good thing for coffee lovers.

 

 

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