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Where To Buy Fair Trade Coffee

Failure To Monitor Standards

Fair Trade Coffee

There are complaints that the standards are inappropriate and may harm producers, sometimes making them work several months more for little return.

Adherence to fair trade standards by producers has been criticised: enforcement of standards by Fairtrade has been described as “seriously weak” by Christian Jacquiau. Paola Ghillani, who spent four years as president of Fairtrade Labelling Organizations, agreed that “certain arguments carry some weight”. There are many complaints of poor enforcement problems: labourers on Fairtrade farms in Peru are paid less than the minimum wage; some non-Fairtrade coffee is sold as Fairtrade ‘the standards are not very strict in the case of seasonally hired labour in coffee production.’ ‘some fair trade standards are not strictly enforced’ In 2006, a Financial Times journalist found that ten out of ten mills visited had sold uncertified coffee to co-operatives as certified. It reported that “The FT was also handed evidence of at least one coffee association that received an organic, Fair Trade or other certifications despite illegally growing some 20 per cent of its coffee in protected national forest land.

Large Companies And Commodities

Large transnational companies have begun to use fair trade commodities in their products. In April 2000, Starbucks began offering fair trade coffee in all of their stores. In 2005, the company promised to purchase ten million pounds of fair trade coffee over the next 18 months. This would account for a quarter of the fair trade coffee purchases in the United States and 3% of Starbucks’ total coffee purchases. The company maintains that increasing its fair trade purchases would require an unprofitable reconstruction of the supply chain. Fair trade activists have made gains with other companies: Sara Lee Corporation in 2002 and Procter & Gamble in 2003 agreed to begin selling a small amount of fair trade coffee. , the world’s biggest coffee trader, began selling a blend of fair trade coffee in 2005. In 2006, The Hershey Company acquired Dagoba, an organic and fair trade chocolate brand.

Much contention surrounds the issue of fair trade products becoming a part of large companies. Starbucks is still only 3% fair trade â enough to appease consumers, but not enough to make a real difference to small farmers, according to some activists. The ethics of buying fair trade from a company that is not committed to the cause are questionable; these products are only making a small dent in a big company even though these companies’ products account for a significant portion of global fair trade.

Types of businesses engaged in fair trade

Business type

The Need To Knows Of Ethically Sourced & Sustainable Coffee

Sustainability and ethical concerns are often similar across industries, but there are some particularly pressing issues when it comes to coffee, including farmer/producer compensation, labor conditions, sustainable growing practices, and environmental stewardship.

Certifications that seek to address these concerns in the java space are plenty. But, like all things, in order to understand the value of a certification, its important to be familiar with the issues they address and the scope of impact they monitor.

With so many certifications and labels stamped on products we use every day, its always important to understand the efforts of the company behind the certification, and not just rely on the logo. While some certifications are established and known for their stringent and transparent methods of enforcing;corporate accountability;, others may be more nebulous in their definitions and requirements.

With a deeper look into the environmental and social issues within the coffee universe, the certifications that attempt to protect against them, and the debates surrounding those efforts, conscious coffee consumers will be able to support better-for-the-world java suppliers and enjoy guilt-free coffee consumption.;

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Certification Scheme And Competition

The certification scheme is run by Fairtrade International . Fairtrade has become the most dominant Fair Trade label and this has attracted a lot of competitors challenging its monopoly as an ethical label. Several labels from competitors have been created using different certification schemes. NGOs and non-profit organizations are the main threats causing enormous headache for Fairtrade International regulating authorities. Labels like which promote practices that help to protect the habitat of migrating birds, its mission is to protect ecosystems and to preserve biodiversity and sustainability of modes of production and is another competitor which focuses on improving the efficiency and market access of producers. However most of these organizations are criticized for failing to guarantee minimum price, failing to provide pre-financing facilities, favouring plantations at the expense of family farms. The greatest idea about the certification scheme and its competitors is that they all have a logic of innovation they constantly attempt to innovate rather than generating income only but proactively meet the changing needs of different objectives with different ambitions.

Coffee packers pay Fairtrade a fee for the right to use the Fairtrade logo, which gives consumers an assurance that the coffee meets Fairtrade criteria. The coffee with this certification mark must be produced by farmers and cooperatives that meet these criteria.

Fair Trade Vs Fairtrade

Buy Ethiopia Sidama Coffee

Many confuse the terms Fair Trade and Fairtrade. According to Fairtrade America, the difference between Fair Trade and Fairtrade exists in how they respectively label organizations and products. Fairtrade is used to refer to Fair Trade organizations and certifies products using the Fairtrade International system.;

Fair Trade, on the other hand, refers to various things. It could refer to a movement or actual products that have undergone a fair trade or barter. The standards are a bit different.

The following should help clarify the differences:

The first logo is exclusively available to cooperatives of small coffee producers certified by Fairtrade International and by Fairtrade America .

The second logo is used by cooperatives and single farms regardless of size and groups of the non-landholding workers. The Fair Trade USA certified brands with this logo.

A FAIRTRADE mark is the most recognized ethical label around the world. If you see this label on organizations and products, theyve received certification through the Fairtrade International system.;

Likewise, the institution internationally recognizes quality standards that an organization offers to farmers and workers. The mark doesnt represent the entire business, but the ingredients in a particular product that have been certified.

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A Quick Glance At The Winners Of 2021


Grown at an altitude of 2,500-5,000 feet, Volcanica Sumatra Mandheling Fair Trade Coffee Beans come from Indonesia. These are 100% Arabica beans that are chemical- and pesticide-free. Volcanica is a specialty importer of gourmet coffee that is Fair Trade, Rainforest Alliance, and shade-grown certified.

This choice has tangy, brown sugar notes with the rich flavor of a medium roast, as well as having a full body with low acidity and no bitter aftertaste. However, its on the milder side of medium, and you may find it lacking the bite you crave if you love a more robust intensity.

While it is quite expensive, this coffee boasts a distinctive Sumatran flavor. Youll enjoy the combination of caramel, chocolate, and slightly earthy tastes.

  • Too mild as a medium roast

Why Does Fair Trade

The Fair trade movement brings attention to the fact that coffee farming is a risky endeavor from which farmers often struggle to make money. And as the coffee market is currently facing a price crisis, a Fair Trade certification is one way to ensure that every farmer is paid a Fair Trade premium that is above base commodity price, hopefully bringing them closer to earning a sustainable living.

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Where Fair Trade Falls Short

The larger issue is that fair trade doesnt incentivize farmers to vary the quality of their crops. Meister explains this issue with coffee growers:

For instance, should one growers crop score several points above the rest of his compatriots, he is not always guaranteed to receive more money per pound than the rest of the group.

Because the best-quality beans dont command a higher price, fair trade coffee may actually be a lower-quality product than beans sold outside of fair trade channels which makes you, the consumer, less likely to purchase it.

Wydick also points out that fair trade currently doesnt benefit the poorest growers or countries. A study from Costa Rica states that the benefits generated from fair trade are concentrated among the most skilled growers. Meanwhile, the poorest coffee-growing countries represent less than 10% of coffee marketed through fair trade.

Effective poverty interventions should be targeted at the most poor, not the medium-poor, says Wydick.

Coffee Producers Come Into The Picture

Fair Trade: A Just World Starts with You | Benjamin Conard | TEDxSUNYGeneseo

Photo Modified: Flickr / Colleen Taugher / CC BY 4.0

In the mid to late 1980s, this led to the development of new coffee producer and buyer companies called Alternative Trade Organizations . Dedicated to social, economic, trade, and employment justice and environmental sustainability, ATOs worked exclusively with local and small family farms and sold directly to consumers. Their goal was to cut out the middleman in order to:

  • Give buyers and food companies direct access to the farmers.
  • Increase farmers profits and ability to compete in a global marketplace.
  • Increase workers wages and improve workplace safety.
  • Provide consumers better prices and product transparency.

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Enjoy Your Conscious Cup Of Coffee

It is, in fact, possible to enjoy your morning coffee guilt-free, now that youre armed with the information and a few resources that will help you keep up your mornings;conscious consumer-friendly.;

All these companies are bringing the coffee industry into the;sustainable capitalism;movement. Now that youve read this post, youre familiar with various certifications and badges youll find on many sustainable beans, and youre ready to launch into action.;

The best way to find the coffee that makes you feel good with each sip? Learn more about the roaster and producer the coffee is coming from. Not only will you be able to tell who is the real deal in sustainable and ethical java, but some of these companies will inspire you with the ground-breaking work they do!

And there are SO many cups of coffee to choose from. In the process of researching this article, we found roasters in every part of the U.S. doing their best to bring you ethical and sustainable coffee.;

So if you want to go local instead of going with one of our suggestions, you know what youre looking for!;

Its just a matter of figuring out whats important to you when it comes time to;voting with your dollars: supporting local business, improving labor rights and economic opportunity for producers, environmental conservation, or all three!

Fair Trade Coffee: Does It Matter

Fair trade is a buzzword thats been flying around for almost two decades. For those unaware, there is a difference between fair trade and regular trade. One of the questions often raised by critics and newbies alike is Are fair trade farmers treated fairly in the industry?

To answer this question, were going to take an inside look at the fair trade coffee industry.

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Until Very Recently My Most Direct Introduction To Fair Trade Was At A Coffee Shop Up The Street

They sell bags of their beans with a certified fair trade sticker slapped on the back, and Id always smile at the idea of it because fairness is something that I can stand for.

However, like cold pressed juices or wheatgrass shots, fair trade was a phrase Id often heard thrown around but never knew how to define.

I was tired of sipping without knowing.

I decided to find out if it was actually worth the effort to buy fair trade products, or if it was as pointless as choosing something just because its all natural.

What I discovered is true for most things: nothing about fair trade is cut and dry. And even though it has the potential to do a lot of good for the world, the system has a clear set of drawbacks that need to be considered.

Land Girls Sumatran Coffee

Locally Roasted Fair Trade Coffee

Land;Girls is a new British company buying Fairtrade coffee from inspirational female growers, determined to go against the grain by supporting themselves and their communities in a male-dominated industry.;Peruvian and Sumatran options, available as subscription, individual, ground and whole bean.

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The Problem With Fair Trade Coffee

Fair Trade-certified coffee is growing in consumer familiarity and sales, but strict certification requirements are resulting in uneven economic advantages for coffee growers and lower quality coffee for consumers. By failing to address these problems, industry confidence in Fair Trade coffee is slipping.

Peter Giuliano is in many ways the model of a Fair Trade coffee advocate. He began his career as a humble barista, worked his way up the ladder, and in 1995 co-founded Counter Culture Coffee, a wholesale roasting and coffee education enterprise in Durham, N.C. In his role as the green coffee buyer, Giuliano has developed close working relationships with farmers throughout the coffee-growing world, traveling extensively to Latin America, Indonesia, and Africa. He has been active for more than a decade in the Specialty Coffee Association of America, the worlds largest coffee trade association, and currently serves as its president.

Trade Justice And Fair Trade

Segments of the trade justice movement have also criticized fair trade in recent years for allegedly focusing too much on individual small producer groups while stopping short of advocating for immediate trade policy changes that would have a larger effect on disadvantaged producers’ lives. French author and RFI correspondent Jean-Pierre Boris championed this view in his 2005 book .

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What To Look For When Buying Ethical Coffee

As you shop around for the right coffee supplier for your cafe, youll likely notice a wide variety of descriptions and certifications for each coffee.

From fair trade;to bird-friendly;beans, it can feel a little overwhelming to decipher the many potential attributes of a specific coffee. To help you sift through the terminology and avoid any confusion, below youll find definitions and comparisons of the most popular coffee certifications.

What Else Could You Do

ETHOS ROASTERS, LAKELAND | Ethically Sourced Coffee Beans in Central Florida | Fair Trade Coffee

Say that in a weekly shop you, as I do, buy a bunch of bananas, some coffee and some dark chocolate. Amongst these items alone the difference between the cheapest non Fairtrade and Fairtrade brand collectively is about £2 .

Let’s look at what your £2 could do if you gave it to a really effective charity.

  • £2 donated to the Schistosomiasis Control Initiative could deliver treatment of neglected tropical diseases of 4 people for a year.
  • £2 donated to the Against Malaria Foundation would pay for a malaria net, one of the most effective ways of preventing the spread of malaria.
  • Or why not donate that £2 directly to someone through Give Directly? That way you know that the right person received the the majority of your donation and you empower them to transform their own lives.

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What Is Fair Trade And Why Does It Matter

Fair trade is the process of farmersselling a product they grew to a buyer in that industry. In this case, the industry were looking at is coffee. Farmers are paid a higher price for the product if they sell it within fair trade parameters.

Fair trade parameters include sustainable growth practices. This is important because how crops are grown directly impacts the health of the planet and its people. Fair trade growers and buyers understand that. They care about the future of the world and their commerce practices reflect that.

Farmers have to meet strict requirements for their product to meet the fair trade standard. And before you think this is making it hard on the farmer, it actually benefits them in the long run. This assures not only the buyer that the product is good, but also you, the consumer. And the farmer can take pride in knowing that they have produced a high quality crop.

How To Buy Ethical Wholesale Coffee Beans

Before reaching your customers mug, coffee undergoes a long journey in which it passes through many hands until its finally roasted, extracted, and served. The first step in this process involves farmers in tropical climates who in many cases represent a long line of generational coffee producers. Despite the coffee industrys growth, many of these hardworking producers remain underpaid and neglected by the very industry they serve.

This article discusses why its so important to buy ethical coffee and provides guidance on what to look for as you source ethical wholesale beans for your cafe.

Recommended: Read our full, in-depth;How to Start a Coffee Shop Business guides, inspired by coffee professionals, they will help make your coffee dreams real, from sourcing beans to hiring baristas, choosing the best POS system, forming an actual company, and everything in between.


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Fair Trade Organic Coffee

If you want to buy Fair Trade coffee but you are not sure where to start, here are six suggestions for Fair Trade Organic Coffee that you are certain to enjoy. The Fair Trade coffee beans are grown in sustainable ways with farmers that receive fair wages and use great processing methods. Read on to find out which Fair Trade Organic Coffee piques your interest.

Mountanos Family Coffee & Tea Co. @mfctc

FTO Peru El Palto

Honey processing brings a gently sweet flavor profile to these beautiful Peruvian Fair Trade organic coffee beans. Medium body with aromatic floral notes. A real treat.

Brandless @brandlesslife

Cold Brew Multi-Serve Bag

The perfect warm weather pick-me-up, made easy. Simply pour contents into a pitcher, steep, and let the coffee guzzling begin. This Organic Fair Trade Dark Roast Cold Brew Coffee Bag yields six delicious servings.

Allegro Coffee Company @allegrocoffee

Organic Mexico

One of Colorados first specialty coffee producers, Allegro believes that great coffee starts with great relationships with the people who grow the beans. They source from multiple Fair Trade Organic cooperatives in the southern states of Mexico. The small-holder farmers in these co-ops use traditional wet processing methods and dry their coffee individually in the hot tropical sun. This makes for a nice, bright breakfast blend.

Simple Truth

Organic Medium Dark Roast

Taylor Lane Organic Coffee @brewtaylorlane

Wicked French


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