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What is Fair Trade?

 

What is Fair Trade, and what does it mean for coffee to be Fair Trade CertifiedTM?

Firstly, Fair Trade is not a brand name - it is a qualifier, just like "Organic" or "Shade Grown".

The Fair Trade Certified label guarantees that a product was grown and traded in a socially and environmentally responsible manner. When you buy Fair Trade Certified products you directly support the prosperity of families, communities, and the earth. Many of the foods we enjoy every day are grown by people who struggle to keep food on their own tables. Volatile prices and power imbalances make it tough for farmers and farm workers to stay afloat. They can end up in a cycle of poverty and debt, unable to support their families or keep their kids in school. Fair trade is a market-based solution to this problem, driven by consumer demand for products that were produced without harming people or the environment.

How does Fair Trade help? Fair Trade empowers farmers and farm workers to be self-reliant, enabling them to invest in their farms and communities, protect the environment, and develop business skills necessary to compete in the global marketplace.

Below is a detailed explanation of Fair Trade that was taken directly from TransFair USA.

 

The Fair Trade Certified™ label guarantees:



A fair price


The Fair Trade Certified label guarantees that farmers and workers received a fair price for their product. The Fair Trade price means that farmers can feed their families and that their children can go to school instead of working in the fields.

Quality products


By receiving a fair price, Fair Trade producers can avoid cost-cutting practices that sacrifice quality. The Fair Trade producers' traditional artesanal farming methods result in exceptional products.

Care for the environment


Most Fair Trade Certified coffee, tea and chocolate in the US is certified organic and shade grown. This means that the products you buy maintain biodiversity, provide shelter for migratory birds and help reduce global warming.

Community impact


Empowered by the economic stability provided by Fair Trade, members of the COSURCA coffee cooperative in Colombia successfully prevented the cultivation of more than 1,600 acres of coca and poppy, used for the production of illicit drugs. In Papua New Guinea, the AGOGA cooperative, is investing in a medical team to meet the healthcare needs of its isolated rural community. In the highlands of Guatemala, indigenous Tzutuhil Mayans in the La Voz cooperative are sending local kids to college for the first time. Near Lake Titicaca, in Peru, the CECOVASA cooperative is assisting members from Quechua and Aymara indigenous groups in raising coffee quality and transitioning to certified organic production.


To read more, please visit TransFair USA.

 

In addition, a brief article was recently published in Philadelphia Magazine about Fair Trade. 
Click here to see the article.

 

 
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