What Is Fair Trade Coffee?

fair trade coffee

Everything about fair trade coffee. 

Nowadays, the food industry is increasingly striving for environmental protection and sustainability. As consumers, it’s always worth investigating what certain terms refer to and how seriously we should take these expressions in the case of a particular product.

Fair Trade is a term used in coffee production to create a sustainable and profitable industry. Many producers, including multinational companies, are working towards this goal.

The meaning of Fair Trade products

Fair Trade labels products made with fair and equal trade practices. This certification system ensures that human rights and the environment are taken into account.

When you buy Fair Trade products like 

  • tea, 
  • cocoa, 
  • bananas,
  • or coffee

you are supporting companies that pay fair wages and provide ethical working conditions for their workers.

For coffee, climate change is a challenge, as the land available for coffee growing is decreasing. To combat this, new high-quality plants that can withstand the negative effects of global warming are being introduced.

Fair Trade has a network of approximately 1.6 million producers and workers across 75 countries and 1600 producer organizations. Colombia is a significant producer of Fair Trade coffee.

Fair Trade coffee cultivation

The world’s largest coffee-producing countries are not Luxembourg or Norway. They are rather economically disadvantaged nations in the third world. 

Unfortunately, these countries often have poor working conditions and low wages for coffee laborers. 

Large landowners and traders benefit from this system, but Fair Trade coffee is different. It aims for long-term stability and quality by creating a trading partnership between producers and traders. 

This approach helps small-scale producers in poor countries and their local communities.

Is fair trade worth considering when choosing coffee brands?

fair trade certified coffee bags

Fair Trade Certified Coffee From Big Brands

Is fair trade from premium coffee brands a reality? Not really.

Even the most expensive global coffee brands are trying to adhere to more and more “labels” and quality designations. One after another, they label certain premium products as organic coffee or whole trade, as they naturally don’t want to miss out on trends.

But as long as they consider this a “trend,” the whole thing is a bit like the Volkswagen emission scandal. The reason to follow fair, ethical, environmental, and sustainability norms shouldn’t be because it’s a requirement or obligation but because it’s the right thing to do.

5-10% of the coffee quantity offered by big brands may be fair trade (and they remember to market this well). Still, as long as 99% of their revenue comes from selling non-fair trade-produced coffee, countless exploited workers remain victims in the most disadvantaged countries.

Look for the Fair Trade logo!

The Fair Trade International logo – based on the above – is at least a guarantee that the coffee marked with it in the bag is the product of fair and ethical management and trade.

Fair trade is all about consumers playing a role in creating a fair market. By choosing to buy products that support fair wages for workers and sustainable farming practices, consumers help keep the movement going. It’s that simple.

Fair Trade is closely linked to philanthropy, which helps empower hard-working but impoverished people in the poorest parts of the world. 

It benefits us all to ensure that our morning coffee is sourced through sustainable, ethical partnerships that prioritize a better future for everyone involved.

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