Why would you choose Fairtrade coffee?
Fairtrade coffee helps small-scale farmers escape poverty and add value to their product. It allows them to hold on to their land and invest in quality practices.
According to Fairtrade Australia, 93% of Australian consumers believe companies dealing with developing countries should pay farmers and workers fairly. When buying coffee, more and more people look for the fair trade stamp of approval on the packaging. It feels good to buy something with ‘fair’ in the title. But what makes certified fairtrade coffee so much better for the farmers, for the earth, and for your customers’ morning cup?
Fairtrade is a sustainability-inspired market movement aimed at improving the financial health and profitability of small producers and farm owners, most of whom are based in developing nations, and whose products are considerably exposed to a volatile pricing environment. For many of the world’s 25 million coffee farmers, coffee is a labour-intensive crop that frequently yields little financial return.
Fairtrade standards for coffee act as a safety net against the unpredictable global market. It provides security to coffee producers so that they will get a price that covers their average costs of sustainable production. Fairtrade commits potential buyers to a contract that establishes a minimum base price above the current commodity rate, as well as a guarantee of purchase despite global price fluctuations. It works as a direct support against commodity practices by ensuring farmers receive the minimum salary required to have basic food, shelter, medical care and education.
Fairtrade certification also requires that the growers prove their own practices are within a set of ethical standards, which include safe working conditions and the absence of child or forced labour. A rigorous environmental assessment encourages producers to better protect their ecosystems and reduce the use of harmful chemicals. By adhering to strict Fairtrade standards, farmers are not only able to make great strides in environmental sustainability, but also in the quality of their products.
On top of the Fairtrade price, there is an additional sum of money called the Fairtrade Premium, which goes into a communal fund that farmers and workers use to improve their social, economic and environmental conditions. Through this community investment, they can spend more time and money on environmental education, training, quality testing, and equipment efficiency. The development of sustainable growing and harvesting practices allows quality crops to be produced at a minimal cost to the ecosystem.
Fairtrade and organic certifications are complementary and both show a joint commitment by farmers, wholesalers, retailers and consumers to social and environmental responsibility.
Read more about organic coffee.Back to Top