Fair Trade Coffee is Worth It

by That's Coffee on May 9, 2011

North America imports the majority of its coffee beans from countries around the world, increasing the importance and popularity of Fair Trade Coffee Beans.

Overall, any product certified as Fair Trade works to promote healthier working conditions and higher economic incentive for producers.

The Start of Fair Trade Coffee Beans

In 1988, coffee prices dropped significantly in the world market. In response, the Netherlands began a Fair Trade certification to prevent another surplus in supply. Any excessive supply would flood the market without price quotas, and cause prices to plummet.

In the following decade, several organizations created certification or labels for producers meeting a set minimum wage standard. In 1997, the organizations joined forces to create the Fair Trade Labeling Organization.

Any coffee farmer producing “Fair Trade” beans is required to join a co-op with other local farmers. The premium charged for these farmers coffee beans is disbursed to a mutually agreed upon cause.

As a Fair Trade certified coffee bean farmer, there are specific standards that must be followed, such as:

  • Fair labor conditions – workers have the rights to freedom of association, safe working conditions, fair wages and protection from child labor
  • Direct trade – the middle man is eliminated as much as possible, allowing the farmer to compete in the global market and sell directly to the importers
  • Democratic and transparent organizations – working within their co-op, fair trade farmers have the right to collectively choose how to reinvest their fair trade revenues
  • Community development – fair trade premiums are invested into social and business development to promote projects such as scholarship programs, improved health care or quality training

Many coffee vendors offer Fair Trade coffee as a result of consumer awareness and in response to the demand for it. If you are interested in switching over to Fair Trade Beans, you may be interested in trying:

Bolivian Caranavi Organic Fair Trade – a heavily bodied spicy coffee created by the steep mountain slopes in Bolivia

Dominican Organic Fair Trade – uniform body with a well balanced taste that is shaped by the warm ocean currents and Caribbean trade winds

Beneficio Organic Fair Trade –  medium roasted coffee beans that are pleasantly acidic and showcase a delectable aroma

“Fair Trade Coffee Beans”
courtesy of
your online coffee bean store;
Gourmet Coffee Beans

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