What's So Great About
Fair Trade Coffee?
Whether your coffee is fair trade coffee or not may be the farthest thing from your mind as you try to revive yourself in the morning. But grab a cup of coffee if you need to and find out why making your next cup of coffee fair trade coffee is a good thing.
Coffee has been grown for hundreds of years in many regions of the world where the climate, elevation and topography of the land are perfect for growing coffee beans. Small scale farmers in Kenya, Ethiopia, Columbia, Sumatra, Guatemala, Bolivia, Peru, etc. have been following growing practices that have been used by many generations.
In some regions coffee growing is the main source of income. It is very important to the survival of growers and workers that they receive a fair price for their coffee beans which often does not happen. The farmer needing to sell his crop may be forced to accept an offer just to have some income and many are living with poverty and debt.
Why should a country such as Ethiopia which is considered by some as the birthplace of coffee for it's rich coffee growing region also be considered one of the poorest countries in the world? After all they are growing a crop that consumers all over the world love and are willing to pay a high price for as proven by the popularity of specialty coffee.
Fair Trade Practices Help The Small Farmer
Here's where buying Fair Trade Coffee comes in, Fair Trade certification insures that your coffee was made from coffee beans of farmers that were treated with dignity and:
The farmer receives a set minimum $1.26 price per pound. Farmers that have to sell through middlemen typically earn less than 50 cents per pound according to the Fair Trade Federation. This set price allows the farmer to survive and plan for the future.
At present fair trade farmers sell only 20% of their coffee at fair trade prices, the rest is sold at worldwide price due to low demand for fair trade coffee, according to the "Fair Trade Labeling Organization".
Credit is provided to the farmer so he can continue and purchase necessary equipment.
Technical assistance is provided so farmers can achieve organic certification. Many of these small farmers already grow their crops organically by following age old practices passed down through generations. But it can be a complicated and costly process to receive organic certification.
Coffee profits allow growers to invest in health, education and community development.
Environmental practices are encouraged. Coffee that is grown under the canopy of shade trees is called shade grown coffee. Farmers work with nature not against it.
What Is Shade Grown Coffee?
Many large scale coffee plantations cut down trees to increase yield while shade grown coffee preserves rain forest trees and the natural biodiversity these forests provide. This includes preserving local and endangered species along with migratory bird populations, using less water and improving natural soils. The local ecosystem and the environmental conditions of the earth both benefit. Many coffee lovers think shade grown coffee tastes the best.
You can make an impact when you shop for fair trade brands. Some grocery stores are beginning to carry them. Support companies that want to provide you with great tasting coffee while conducting their business with respect for people and the environment.
Where To Shop Online
Below companies offer a great selection of fair trade coffee. If you can manage it go all the way and buy fair trade/organic coffee.
The Fair Trade Coffee Company carries a good selection of regular coffee, coffee blends and flavored coffee. The coffee of the month subscription is a no hassle way to try different flavors each month. Check out
The Fair Trade Coffee Company.
Cafe Campesino has a very nice selection of coffee available whole bean and in several different grinds plus tea, gifts and equipment for brewing. Go to Cafe Campesino.
Pura Vida is a unique fair trade coffee company where non profit Pura Vida Partners works to help people in coffee growing regions and is supported in part by money made from Pura Vida's online store. Plenty of choices and two different kinds either whole bean or ground. Shop with Pura Vida
Amazon offers many different varieties of fair trade coffee. The big benefit here is being able to read product reviews and many varieties qualify for free shipping on orders over $25. Some of these companies have on-line stores but also sell on Amazon because of the great exposure. Make sure to check out
Amazon's Large Selection of Fair Trade Coffee
It can be very enjoyable and interesting shopping with companies that sell fair trade. You not only shop but you learn about the company, regions and people producing fair trade products. It's feel good reading knowing about the good you are doing.
Don't forget to ask for fair trade coffee at your favorite coffee shop.
Fair Trade Chocolate
Fair Trade Gifts
Fair Trade Shea Butter