This is how millions of us start our day and a companion for countless conversations. An estimated 1.6 billion cups of coffee are brewed every day. Globally, more than 125 million people depend on coffee for their livelihood, yet many are unable to earn a living from this beloved and valuable culture. Worldwide, 25 million small farmers produce 70-80% of the world’s coffee, which is one of the reasons why Fair Trade focuses its efforts on smallholder organizations.
When you relax with a favorite cup of coffee, do you ever wonder about the journey of coffee beans? How did you get from a bean on a tree to that delicious aroma in the cup? Every decision we make is based on honoring the farmers who are at the beginning of that journey. All our coffee is bought through Cooperative Coffees, a fair trade buying cooperative we co-founded in 1999 to make sure we always know exactly our coffee is grown, who grew it, how it is treated, and the benefits. This results in this unique model of direct trade.
We believe that this conscious and direct form of trade, with transparency at all levels, can be scaled back in time to create an alternative economic relationship between the consumer “global north” and the disadvantaged producer “global south”. We believe so strongly in the transformative possibilities of fair trade that we have named our company after the people we trade with. Campesino Cafe … Little Farmer’s Coffee.
Americans drink a lot of coffee: 400 million cups a day, to be exact. Dripping, cold preparation, moving and espresso, we like everything. It is difficult to imagine our life without the coffee we know and love. In a culture that likes fast, easy, and cheap, it is easy to forget that there are farmers whose livelihoods depend on the cup of coffee in your hand. But as the global pandemic covers the new challenges of poverty and climate change that producers are already facing, the future of coffee cultivation as a way of life becomes more uncertain.
Whatever your taste, find your new favorite among these brands online or in-store, and, as always, make sure you look for the certified seal for fair trade.
What is Fair Trade Certification?
Fairtrade coffee is a coffee that has a fair trade certification, which means that the coffee was produced to fair trade standards by fair trade organizations. These organizations create trading partnerships that are based on dialogue, transparency, and respect. The main goal is to achieve greater equity in international trade.
These partnerships contribute to sustainable development that offers better trading conditions to coffee farmers. Fairtrade organizations support producers and sustainable farming practices.
When people buy coffee, they can look for the Fair Trade stamp of approval on the coffee package. Sometimes, it feels good to buy something that has “fair” in the title.
What are the Benefits of Fair Trade Coffee?
Fairtrade is environmentally responsible. It helps small farmers cultivate their lands in a sustainable manner. If the farmers are paid fairly, they do not have to cut down forests to plant more coffee crops. Fairtrade improves their communities and changes farmers’ lives. It helps them achieve economic independence and financial stability. It interrupts the cycle of dependence on intermediaries that have not necessarily acted in the best interests of producers and empowers small farmers by forming cooperatives. These cooperatives mean they now have access to credit, opportunities to learn better and more sustainable farming techniques, and access to marketing and technical assistance. Most importantly, being part of a cooperative means small farmers no longer constantly worry about meeting basic needs food, housing, health care, and education. The cooperatives help provide those needs by building schools, providing access to health care, and improving infrastructure, all of which improve the standard of living for the farmers, their families, and their communities.