What is Fairtrade Coffee?

What is Fairtrade coffee?

Fairtrade is a regulation board that ensures the best possible working standards and conditions for farmers in developing countries. This means farmers can make their own decisions, control their futures and while providing for their families. We support Fairtrade as we believe it is a step in the right direction towards making a difference in the lives of coffee farmers. Sustainability is at the heart of our business and this is a big part of ensuring sustainable working practices for all.

How do I know if my coffee is Fairtrade?

To determine if your coffee is Fairtrade-certified, you can look for the Fairtrade logo on the packaging. The Fairtrade logo typically consists of a black and blue symbol with a person and a green leaf, often accompanied by the word "Fairtrade" or "Fair Trade Certified."

Here are some steps you can take to identify Fairtrade coffee:

  1. Look for the Fairtrade Logo: Check the packaging for the Fairtrade logo. It is usually displayed prominently on the front or back of the package.
  2. Read the Label: Some coffee brands may explicitly state that they are Fairtrade-certified on the label. Look for phrases like "Fairtrade Certified," "Fair Trade," or "Ethically Sourced."
  3. Check for Certification Marks: In addition to the Fairtrade logo, some coffee may also have other certification marks, such as "FLO-CERT" or "Fair Trade USA," indicating compliance with specific Fair Trade standards.
  4. Verify with the Brand or Retailer: If you're unsure whether a particular coffee is Fairtrade-certified, you can contact the brand or retailer directly. Many companies provide information about their sourcing practices on their websites or through customer service channels.

Is Fairtrade coffee really fair?

Fairtrade ensures better quality of life for coffee farmers. Fairtrade coffee is generally more expensive than average supermarket coffee as they ensure industry standard wages. The minimum price for a pound of Fairtrade coffee is £1.06 (£1.29 if it is also organic). Ensuring better wages for farmers is an investment in the future and a starting place for improving global farming practices and workers’ rights.

Where does fairtrade coffee come from?

Fairtrade coffee can come from various regions around the world where coffee is grown, including countries in Latin America (such as Colombia, Peru, and Honduras), Africa (such as Ethiopia, Kenya, and Tanzania), and Asia (such as Indonesia and Vietnam). Fairtrade certification ensures that coffee producers receive fair prices for their product, adhere to labour and environmental standards, and invest in their communities. Fairtrade coffee farming cooperatives often exist in economically disadvantaged regions, and buying Fairtrade coffee helps support sustainable agriculture and improve the livelihoods of coffee farmers and workers.

What is the Fairtrade premium?

Fairtrade Premium is an additional sum of money on top of selling price that goes back to farmers and workers for them to invest in projects of their choosing. The Fairtrade Premium helps certain goals be achieved, such as improved business and education in local communities.

What do farmers use the Fairtrade Premium for?

Farmers who join the Fairtrade program join a co-operative with other local farmers. Each co-operative has a democratically elected representative responsible for deciding the best use of the Fairtrade Premium. In the past it has been used for issues relating to community education and environmental sustainability.

Which country produces the most fairtrade coffee?

Countries in Latin America have been significant producers of Fairtrade-certified coffee, with Colombia often being one of the largest producers. Other notable producers include Peru, Honduras, and Guatemala.

It's worth mentioning that Fairtrade certification is not solely based on the volume of coffee produced but also on the adherence to fair labour and environmental standards. Therefore, the country producing the most Fairtrade-certified coffee may vary over time depending on factors such as certification efforts, changes in production volumes, and shifts in consumer demand. 

Is Fairtrade coffee cheaper?

Fairtrade coffee is not necessarily cheaper than non-Fairtrade coffee. In fact, Fairtrade-certified coffee often comes at a premium price compared to conventional coffee due to the additional costs associated with meeting Fairtrade standards and supporting fair wages for farmers and workers.

The Fairtrade certification process involves ensuring fair prices for coffee producers, which can include paying a minimum price for their coffee beans, as well as providing additional premiums for community development projects or investments in sustainable agriculture. These factors contribute to the higher cost of Fairtrade coffee. 

Does fairtrade coffee taste different?

Whether Fairtrade coffee tastes better than non-Fairtrade coffee is subjective and can vary depending on individual preferences, coffee quality, roast level, and brewing method. Fairtrade certification primarily focuses on ensuring fair prices for coffee producers, promoting sustainable agriculture, and supporting community development, rather than directly influencing the taste of the coffee itself.

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