There’s nothing quite like the aroma and flavor of a freshly brewed cup of joe in the morning… or any time of day, really. It’s just the perfect pick-me-up you need to chase away your drowsiness, and kick yourself into high gear. But do you know what’s even better than enjoying a great cup of coffee? The feeling you’ll get when you know that the java you’re savoring has been produced in accordance with fair trade coffee practices.
By now, you’ve probably seen plenty of purveyors advertising fair trade coffee. But what does the fair trade certification mean, and what are the benefits of filling your cup with beans procured by fair trade brands?
Fair Trade Means Better Lives for Farmers
Let’s hear it for coffee farmers! In many parts of the world, we can’t grow our own beans. Fortunately, there are coffee farmers in parts of the world where coffee beans will grow, and we’re able to enjoy the fruits of their labor. In a nutshell, whenever you buy fair trade certified coffee, you’ll be able to rest assured that the farmers who grew your beans received a fair price for their products.
Fair Trade Coffee Encourages Organic Agriculture
Nearly 85% of the beans sold under the fair trade coffee label means that it’s organic. That’s because farmers are paid a premium for growing organic coffee beans. In purchasing fair trade coffee, you’re encouraging farmers to grow using sustainable methods, so you’re also benefiting the environment, and safeguarding that wonderful coffee-growing land for the java junkies of the future.
Fair Trade Builds Community
A portion of the proceeds from fair trade certified beans is earmarked for community development projects for the communities in which the coffee is grown. That means better schools, housing, healthcare, and education for the local residents.
Fair Trade Coffee Tastes Better
We’ve all had bad coffee at one time or another, and it’s a real letdown when you’re used to the good stuff. Mass-produced coffee may be less expensive, but you can often taste the difference, because the produce is not of the same quality. In contrast, fair-trade beans are generally rich, aromatic, flavorful, and robust, because they’re patiently grown in rich soils, and without all the toxic chemicals.
Fair Trade Coffee Is Better for Workers, Too
In order to become fair trade certified, farms have to meet certain labor criteria. They’re not permitted to use child labor, and they’re required to provide safe working conditions.
Fair Trade Cuts Out the Middleman
Fair trade importers purchase coffee directly from producer groups. Without middlemen taking a substantial portion of their profits, they’re better able to compete in the global market.