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Fair Trade Coffee

 

 Fair trade coffee benefits many. From farmers, to consumers, to all of us by the environmental benefits achieved through fair trade practices. As a system of trade based on respect for worker's rights and the environment, fair trade can help reverse the environmental degradation and growing inequities that have been a result of the growth in world trade as we now know it.

By taking a simple step of buying only fairly traded coffee you send a signal to others that this is the best form of trade. More importantly your purchase directly benefits the poor farmers and their families. Your purchase also helps prevent further environmental degradation.

It is a simple choice, and a small step that has so many benefits and one that sends a signal to others to get involved and make a difference. This is one decision that you can know has direct results on many people. Won't you choose to have a clean conscience when you take your next sip of coffee?

 

Fair Trade is based on seven principles as quoted by the Fair Trade Federation (FTF), the largest association of fair trade organizations.

  • Fair wages
    Paying fair wages does not necessarily mean that products cost the consumer more. Since Fair Trade Organizations bypass exploitative middlemen and work directly with producers, they are able to cut costs and return a greater percentage of the retail price to the producers.
  • Cooperative workplaces
    Fair Trade Organizations work primarily with small businesses, worker owned and democratically run cooperatives and associations which bring significant benefits to workers and their communities.
  • Consumer Education
    Fair Trade Organizations educate consumers about the importance of purchasing fairly traded products which support living wages and healthy working conditions.
  • Environmental Sustainability
    Fair Trade Organizations encourage producers to engage in environmentally friendly practices which manage and use local resources sustainably.
  • Financial and Technical Support
    Small-scale farmers and artisans in the developing world lack access to affordable financing, impeding their profitability. FTF members that buy products directly from producers often provide financial assistance either through direct loans, prepayment or by linking producers with sources of financing.
  • Respect for cultural identity
    Fair Trade Organizations encourage the production and development of products based on producers' cultural traditions adapted for Western markets.
  • Public Accountability
    FTF members' finances, management policies, and business practices are open to the public and monitoring by the Fair Trade Federation.

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