Fair Trade Coffee

Written by Linda Alexander
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Fair trade coffee bypasses the coffee trader, or middleman, and gives the producer higher profits. Importers and roasters develop relationships with producers, which cuts out the middlemen, or "coffee coyotes" as they are known. It brings stability to this unstable market. With so much coffee produced in the world today, its price has dropped below the cost of production. That is bad news for most coffee farmers.

With these agreements, farmers are guaranteed a minimum price for their fair trade coffee. If prices rise above this, they receive a premium above market price. Unfortunately, this does not ensure that the harvesters are paid fairly, but it does help growers to meet their basic needs.

Developing Fair Trade Coffee Practices

In the early 1990s, several U.S. coffee companies helped develop this economic model, which puts buyers and sellers directly together, cutting out middlemen who pressure and exploit farmers. Fair trading coffee farmers are guaranteed fair and healthy working conditions and help with sustainable farming. This is shade grown coffee, which preserves wildlife habitats and the environment.

The next time you sip a cuppa Joe, realize that it's not just a cup of coffee. Your purchase has an impact on the environment and farmers. When you buy fair trade coffee, you are making that a positive impact rather than a negative one.


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