Next time you buy coffee, purchase Fair Trade coffee.
A bit more expensive to be Fair Trade Certified, but you will be helping the current crisis local farmers are facing across the world.
In recent years, coffee prices have plummeted and are currently around $.60-$.70 per pound. With world market prices as low as they are right now, a lot of farmers cannot maintain their families and their land anymore. The drastic fall in coffee prices means poverty and hunger for thousands of small producers in Latin America. Meanwhile, major coffee companies have not lowered consumer prices and are pocketing the difference. By cutting out such "middleman" and going Fair Trade, you are purchasing from companies that promise and deliver these farmers a fair price for their labor.
The United States consumes one-fifth of all the world's coffee, making it the largest consumer in the world. Yet few Americans realize the struggle that agriculture workers in the coffee industry face. Many small coffee farmers receive prices for their coffee that are much less than the costs of production, forcing them into poverty.
Fair Trade assures consumers that the coffee we drink was purchased under fair conditions. To become Fair Trade certified, an importer must meet stringent international criteria; paying a minimum price per pound of $1.26, providing much needed credit to farmers, and providing technical assistance such as help transitioning to organic farming.
Across the country, there are over 100 companies that have licensing agreements with TransFair to offer Fair Trade Certified coffee. Major companies include Starbucks, Tully's, Peet's, Equal Exchange, Diedrich, and Green Mountain.
To learn more about this crisis, read this Fair Trade Foundation Report
To see a list of companies that are are Fair Trade Certified, click here
To purchase Certified Fair Trade products, visit your local Trader Joe's or Whole Foods today!
For more information, visit www.transfairusa.org