Fair Trade Coffee Resource
Fair-Trade: What is it?
Fair trade certification requires three prongs.
That the farmer recieves a fair price. The fair price floor is currently $1.26 a per pound.
That the farmer has access to credit and direct access to American markets without having to deal with exploitative middlemen.
That the farmer is able to benefit from cooperative programs that support social and commercial development.
TransFair USA is the only fair trade certification organization in the United States. It was founded in 1998 in Oakland, California and by 2001 had partnerships with over 132 coffee companies and retail outlets.
Why buy Fair Trade beans?
When you purchase fair trade beans you will see the Fair Trade label. This label tells you that the beans you are buying quality coffee that has been grown responsibly.
Because sustainability calls for prices to be more than the cost of production and currently, the non fair trade prices are well below the cost of production.
Coffee bought at a higher price means that farmers will be able to improve living conditions, continue running their farms and, keep their children in school.
Eighty-five percent of Fair Trade certified beans in the US are shade-grown and US certified organic.
Purchasing Fair Trade beans creates a demand for the product which sends coffee companies a message. The higher the demand for these beans the better chance farmers have of making a living wage and improving their lives.
The cost on the shelves is comparable to other premium coffees.
Look for the Fair Trade label on coffee bags:
Here is an interesting link to a page on the TransFair USA Website that explains the path that coffee beans take from farm to your coffee cup. It also shows the route that Fair Trade beans take and the differences between the two are very interesting.
This is a video link to a dozen or more video clips that explain the coffee production situation in Peru and relates personal accounts of small coffee farm owners who are attempting to carve out an existence through diversified farms and Fair Trade.
Copyright © Cherie Stull 2003