While we love the taste of coffee in the morning, it is also important to know where your coffee comes from. You surely don’t want to support unethical coffee companies and having a certification like Fair Trade certified definitely helps.
What is fair trade coffee? Fair trade coffee is coffee that is produced under sustainable environmental farming practices thereby helping local farmers and producers. Fair trade coffee also helps in prohibiting child labor as well as forced physical labor. If your coffee has Fair Trade certification, you can be sure that it is not a product of bad farming practices and suffering local farmers.
Why Do We Need Fair Trade Coffee?
Fair trade coffee benefits local farmers in several ways like getting a fair price for their produce, improved living conditions, improved environment, long-term direct trade opportunities with international buyers, and most importantly overall development of their local community.
Without fair trade certification, the local coffee grower may or may not get a proper price for their produce. Not only that, fair trade certification also encourages the local community to maintain environmental standards and they can’t use their children as laborers.
This means the children of a local coffee farmer will get the deserved education and will help in the progress of their community.
Fair trade certification can also make sure that there was no forced labor used.
Is Fair Trade Coffee Ethical/Really Fair?
Fair trade coffee provides a fair price, improves the living conditions of the local coffee producer, and also offers them a long-term buying contract with international buyers. Though there are questions about the ethics of fair trade, without it the farmers will lead a poorer lifestyle.
One of the biggest problems for local coffee producers is poverty and the lack of security for food and prevention against diseases. Fair trade coffee solves this problem to a good extent.
Yes, there is also an argument that the lives of other farmers who are not a part of fair trade are affected. While some part of it is true, people who bring their products under fair trade have improved their living conditions and can provide education to their children which is more important.
Is Fair Trade Coffee Organic?
Fair trade coffee doesn’t mean it is organic. According to a recent statistic, 60% of the fair trade coffee is organic which is a pretty good share. To be organic, there should not be any use of pesticides and other synthetic inputs. Since organic certification is a lot more expensive, more farmers are happy to adhere to fair trade standards instead.
Many small scale farmers do not have the money to get organic certifications for their produce. A fair trade label, on the other hand, gives them a good price, a buying contract, and various other benefits. These are some reasons why the remaining 40% of fair trade coffee isn’t organic.
Is Fair Trade Coffee More Expensive?
Fair trade coffee doesn’t have to be more expensive than regular coffee. Many factors play a role in deciding the price of your coffee. However, if your fair trade coffee is also organic, then it will be more expensive than your regular as well as your non-organic fair trade coffee.
Is It Worth Buying Fair Trade Coffee?
Fair trade coffee is worth the price if you want to support the local farmers who make your cup of coffee possible. With the advent of fair trade coffee, international farmers from places like Peru are getting a good, fair price for their coffee and also an overall improvement in their lifestyle. Fair trade coffee makes this possible.
While there are many questioning the ethics and working of the Fair Trade Organization, the result mostly favors the poor farmers overseas and that’s why supporting fairtrade certified coffee is important.
Is Fair Trade Coffee Cartel Coffee?
No, fair trade coffee is not cartel coffee. Companies like Starbucks and Peet’s coffee have adopted the fair trade system and that could lead people to think that the coffee is coming from a cartel. Though these companies strictly enforce Fairtrade standards on the local producers, it is mostly based on the fair trade movement.
Sometimes this sort of enforcement is required to maintain the quality of the coffee beans which is most important. The coffee industry without a system like this one will be very centralized. A small farmer will not get the right price and that trend will sadly continue, With Fair trade coffees, that’s a thing of the past.
Why Fair Trade Coffee Is Bad?
Fair trade coffee is considered bad by some as they feel that fair trade coffee doesn’t give the fair price promised to the farmers. There are also questions regarding the quality of the coffee beans acquired. Some experts also feel that the whole model has been technologically outdated.
The main gripe we hear is that fair trade coffee started as a social justice movement but has now evolved into something more of a marketing model that helps drive the consumption of the product. Though we can confirm this, we have to agree that these arguments are necessary for the growth as well the maintenance of the ecosystem.
Fair Trade Coffee – Closing Thoughts
Direct trade coffee might get the farmers a better price in some places, but there is no guarantee that they will have their way for a longer period. Fair trade coffee gives them a fair coffee price and provides other benefits as well.
If you support fair trade coffee, you can be sure that you help out coffee farmers in other countries and improve their lifestyles. This is also great for the environment which makes it all worthwhile.
Do keep in mind that fairtrade coffee doesn’t have to be organic coffee. These two are different but if you’re looking for organic fairtrade coffee, then you might have to pay a bit more.