Fair Trade Coffee Cooperatives

Fair trade is a different way to do business. It is an agreement between cooperatives and coffee bean producers. The agreement between the two parties induces some positive and negative effects. The key factor in the agreement is the coffee producers receive payments that are higher than the standard price of coffee. On the negative side, the price to buy coffee for consumers is somewhat higher.

But, the extra money spent is indirectly contributed back to the community. The main focus of the fair trade coffee agreement is to promote healthier working conditions, as well as provide an increased economic incentive for farmers to harvest coffee.

Other positive effects consist of:

  • A more direct relationship between the coffee producer and the cooperative purchasing the coffee. This provides more profit for the farmer and the opportunity to compete in the global market.
  • Prompt and fair payment for farmers, allowing for faster transactions and increased morale in coffee producers.
  • Providing opportunities for marginalized producers, giving coffee growers the chance to expand and improve production.
  • Standards that protect workers, and requires producers to support the community.

As with anything else, specific standards must be met by producers and fair trade cooperatives for business to be conducted. Fair labor conditions must be in effect within the coffee producers work force. Safe working conditions must be provided and child labor is strictly prohibited. As previously stated, the trades between cooperatives and producers must be as direct as possible with minimal use of any middle men. Fair trade farmers and farm workers are completely in charge of the use of revenue and any investments to be made. In addition, fair trade farmers and workers must invest fair trade premiums into community development organizations. Organizations like healthcare services and scholarship programs.

The fair trade coffee agreement is an intricate program that benefits many people, directly and indirectly. Coffee producers are provided with more benefits, revenue and opportunities. While cooperatives are able to create a beneficial relationship, conducting business directly with the producers.

The Benefits of Organic Coffee

Organic coffee is grown without the use of synthetic chemicals and pesticides. The farmers apply methods of composting, inter-cropping and terracing to build a healthy soil base for the coffee plants. Coffee is a shade-loving shrub and works out better when planted under taller trees. To enhance the area that the coffee is grown, the coffee farmers plant canopy trees, usually lime, orange, banana, and avocado trees. Organic farming is the most natural way to grow coffee trees.

There are many environmental benefits from organic farming. Organic farming maintains soil fertility by the use of natural methods, such as, adding animal manures to the soil. It provides wildlife and migrating birds the proper refuge. Pests and diseases are controlled through the use of ecological methods. Soil erosion becomes less of a problem in organic farming areas because the forests are better utilized. The coffee farmers are very careful in protecting the vegatation that is native to their areas. The water systems are maintained by recirculating the water through anaerobic digestion systems to eliminate any pollution. You can say that they farm the “old-fashioned way”, in harmony with nature.

Buying organic coffee should make you feel good. You are acknowledging the farmers that are committed to organic farming. The farmers recognize the importance of the environment. Family farms are saved and economic independence is sustained in poor rural areas. And, finally, purchasing organic coffee helps preserve biodiversity on our planet.

What is the benefit of organic coffee to the coffee-lover? Besides it being an excellent tasting cup of coffee, this chemical-free cup of coffee that provides numerous health benefits. Caffeinated and decaffeinated coffees are a major sources of antioxidants in the diet. Short-term memory can be improved by drinking coffee and it can increase your metabolism. Coffee lowers some types of cancers and Type 2 diabetes can be reduced. There are reports that show coffee is good for the teeth, showing that the antibacterial effects from roasted coffee beans can lessen cavities. And coffee, is also reported to prevents or stops headaches and migraines.

As you sit back with your cup of coffee, think of all the positive benefits that it has created. Cheers, enjoy a great tasting cup of organic coffee!