What is Fairtrade coffee and how does it help the farmers?

What is Fairtrade coffee and how does it help the farmers?

‘Fairtrade’ is just one of the many terms bandied about these days to let you know those delicious coffee beans you’re getting stuck into have been sourced ethically and sustainably.

But what does that ACTUALLY mean?! Well, it turns out it’s actually really important, and learning a bit about it should help you be more selective in the coffee you buy, as well as making you feel a whole lot better about yourself once you truly understand how much of a difference it can make to people's lives.

In a nutshell, the Fairtrade mark you’ve see on bags of coffee is licenced by the Fairtrade organisation, an independent non-profit organisation that ensures the beans have been produced in accordance with international Fairtrade standards. These standards have been founded to improve the lives of the coffee farmers, their families and the wider communities. Let’s have a look at some of the key benefits of buying Fairtrade coffee…

1) All farmers are paid a fair price for their coffee

This price covers the cost of sustainable production, even if world market prices fall. On top of this price they also receive a premium, which they’re able to put towards improving their facilities, the quality of their coffee and things like healthcare and education. In the long run this allows the farms to become more competitive and sustainable. Fair trade farmers often group together to form worker’s unions, which empowers them and allows them to make collective decisions.

2) Improved working conditions

Conditions and working hours for employees must comply with the conditions established by national and local laws. As well as this, you can be sure the farms producing Fairtrade coffee beans have not used child labour. Oh, and did I mention that all Fairtrade farms have a policy of non-discrimination and gender equality?

3) It’s better for the environment!

The production technologies used seek to reduce energy consumption and where possible renewable energy is favoured. The farms are also committed to minimising the amount of waste they produce.

Last but not least, all Fairtrade coffee packaging uses recyclable or easily biodegradable materials that have little or no impact on the environment.

You’d be forgiven for not fully grasping the importance of buying Fairtrade products before reading this article. The truth is that not many people are aware of the life-changing impacts it can have.

So next time you’re doing your online shop, be sure to look out for the Fairtrade logo on the packaging. Despite it’s clear benefits, many big companies still do not produce Fairtrade coffee. At Clumsy Goat, our coffee will always be ethically and sustainably sourced. Click here to take a look at our range :)