Why Fair Trade Coffee is Important The coffee bean industry is a multimillion dollar business.Without human rights regulations, big agricultural and the ever-expanding nature of capitalism brings damage to the environment,mistreatment of workers, and unfair business practices.
This is sad but inevitable because developingcountries supply goods mostly to developed countries.Without the right protection workers and farm ownerscan lose money on crops and not be able to supportthemselves. It is our duty as consumers to be mindfulwhen we purchase imports such as coffee andremember to only buy fair trade.
Fair trade coffee standards Fair trade coffee is one way people are making surethat farms and workers are treated fairly in business. Fairtrade products have been certified by Fair TradeInternational
The certification meansthat the product meets theagreed environmental, labor,and developmental standardsset up by Fair TradeInternational. Theyperiodically audit coffee beanfarmers and companies toensure that these standardsare met.
They also require thatimprovements be made overtime in areas such aseducation, wages, and safety.Fair trade is more than just acertification and fair coffeeprices for farmers. It is aboutthe welfare of the employeecommunity and farm owners.It is also about the consistentimprovement of standards inthe work place.
Focused on development Whether it is a small coffee farm or large coffee farm,the set price the farmer gets for fair trade certified coffee isalways consistent and fair, but there are many otherbenefits for farmers who participate in fair trade coffeeproduction besides fair prices. On large coffee farms Fair Trade International actsmore like a farm workers union, requiring employees toreceive minimum wage and have the right and safety to airgrievances about working conditions and wage. This is alsoknown as the right to bargain collectively.
On large coffee farmsFair Trade Internationalacts more like a farmworkers union, requiringemployees to receiveminimum wage and havethe right and safety to airgrievances about workingconditions and wage. Thisis also known as the rightto bargain collectively.
These standards also ensure that there is no child laborand that health and safety are up to date. Fair traderequirements also include that a representative from boththe management and the employee section is present todecide how fair trade premiums will be spent to benefitemployees. That means that all of the extra money from sellingcoffee at a fair price goes to making all the employees’ lifea little less hard.
There are also many benefits to small farms too. Smallfarms that are fair trade certified are required to makedemocratic decisions, so that farmers can choose how fairtrade profits are invested. These requirements also includebuilding to each of the farms’ capacity for maximum growthso that they can become stronger economically andflourish.
In short, if you are going to be a consumer in a worldwhere big business takes advantage of the poor farmer it isnecessary to be conscious of the struggles that farmer face inthe coffee bean industry. Supporting fair trade means beingable to enjoy a fresh hot cup of coffee in the morning that youknow was harvested under humane work conditions.