Fair Trade Coffee More than Just Fair Wage

Fair Trade

Most of us wake up in the morning with a cup of coffee to get the day started. While we are still somewhat sleepy and all, we would down a cup of coffee, not thinking much about it. But what if we gave that cup of coffee an extra second of thought? One extra second of thinking about fair trade coffee and then continuing on the day. This one extra thought about fair trade coffee can make a difference in the world. Fair trade coffee can make a difference for someone else. So what kind of difference can fair trade coffee make? How fair trade coffee is better than regular coffee? Should you switch over to fair trade coffee? Keep on reading to find the answer to all of these questions and more!

Fair Trade Coffee

Fair trade coffee beans being roasted
Similar to any fair trade products, fair trade coffee’s aim is to help the coffee growers and provide them a better life with fair wages. With the concept of fair trade coffee, you are helping the coffee growers receive proper payment for their hard work, in addition, help benefit the local community and more. The concept of fair trade coffee is to help the coffee growers and create a sustainable business. So why not have a cup of fair trade coffee every morning? Not only does it brighten your day, but it is also brightening up many coffee growers’ lives.

Why is Fair Trade Coffee Important?

So why is the concept of fair trade coffee so important? Oftentimes, coffee growers are in poverty even though large corporations are making millions of dollars. The aim of fair trade coffee is to help these coffee growers get what they deserve, proper compensation, in addition, giving back to the community so the people and the community can get out of poverty. Fair trade coffee and many other fair trade purposes are to help the people and create a sustainable business. However, with that said, the fair trade coffee system is not perfect and there are still many things that they can improve on to truly be the fair trade coffee that they aim to be. Fair trade coffee is a starting point of making a difference for the farmers.

Concerns Over Fair Trade Coffee

While fair trade coffee does bring many benefits for the coffee growers. However, according to some research, some issues and problems have also risen, which can cause concern about the overall benefits of fair trade coffee. So let’s take a look at them together and what are some solutions. The overall purpose of fair trade coffee is to help coffee growers have a better life. However, some systems of fair trade organizations seem to have some oversights which could be resolved through a change of system and more transparency. Such as the fair trade coffee’s bare minimum price might sound like a good idea to prevent sudden drop, but what if the price could be higher? Would the coffee growers actually be able to charge more? It is hard to tell how flexible the minimum pricing is. One way to resolve this could be more transparency to fair trade coffee pricing.

Another issue with fair trade coffee is the consistency of quality. Due to the fact that it is fair trade coffee, it doesn’t really matter whether the quality of coffee beans is good, it is fair trade pricing for all. Thus, causing issues where the sales of fair trade coffee are affected due to lower quality coffee. Where high quality and lower quality fair trade coffee both are priced the same. In addition, even if your fair trade coffee should be worth more than minimum because the overall value of fair trade coffee has already degraded, you can only receive the bare minimum price (5 Unintended Fair Trade Coffee Problems).

While there are many other issues, fair trade coffee’s original intention is for good and they have definitely helped many people and made a difference. Fortunately, these oversights are things that can be fixed. Which many brands did end up fixing too. Overall the concept of fair trade coffee has many people all over the world, and their hard work is truly appreciated. We should continue to support the idea of fair trade coffee and hope to achieve the ultimate goal of sustainable business and a better future for coffee growers.

More than Fair Wage

Many coffee brands adopt fair trade ideologies, however, instead of going through Fair trade organizations, the coffee brands create direct relationships with the coffee farmers. In fact, many brands choose this option instead due to the long-term and stable relationship they can create with the coffee farmers. Also, it can benefit the farmers more, as many coffee brands choose to pay more than just fair wages, they would increase the premium prices. In addition, many coffee brands donate to local communities to help grow the local community directly.

Fair Trade Coffee Recommendations

While the issue of fair trade coffee arose, there are companies and brands that we’re able to overcome the issues. These brands embrace the true definition of fair trade, giving the coffee growers more money and opportunities to better themselves with their own program directly with coffee growers. So here are three fair trade coffee or fair wage coffee recommendations of fair trade coffee you should check out!

Wonderstate Coffee

Ethical Points:
Above Fair Trade Pricing, Organic, Giving Back(5% of the profit), Eco-friendly(Solar Powered Roastery)

Wonderstate Coffee is the perfect example of a direct brand and farmer relationship plus, additional action to really help the local community to thrive, so while they might not be Fairtrade Certified, they are definitely fair trade coffee!

Camano Island Coffee Roaster

Ethical Points:
Above Fair Trade Pricing, Shade Grown(prevent soil erosion and protect bird habitat), Organic, Direct Contact with Coffee Growers

Camano Island Coffee Roaster is another great example of fair trade coffee. Not only do they have direct relationship, they also make sure their coffee beans are organic and shade grown which are much better for the environment.

Salt Spring Coffee

Ethical Points:
Organic, Certified B Corp, Direct Contact with Coffee Growers, Fair Price, 1% for the Planet (donation)

As part of the B-Corporation, Salt Spring Coffee make sure they provide fair wages to the coffee farmers and donate to the planet. It is important to provide good coffee that is good for the planet by donating !5 of their profit.

Support Fair Trade

Fair trade coffee supports the growers
At the end of the day, fair trade coffee is something that is helpful and good for the coffee growers. Supporting fair trade coffee can mean a lot, and there are many ways to support and help the coffee growers. First, always do your research, see what the company and brands are actually doing. Find out if they are truly fair trade and help the local community of coffee growers. If they are, then that brand could be the next fair-trade coffee that you wake up with every morning.
You can support and another person out by shopping fair trade and buying fair trade products.
If you are interested in our top picks of sustainable coffee, check out these 10 sustainable coffee brands.

Resources:
TJ. “5 Unintended Fair Trade Coffee Problems.” 14 June 2020. Web. 08 Oct. 2020.
               
Author: Monica Chang
On my own ethical journey since 2010. Always happy to learn more!