Quick Recipes and Easy

Why You Should Buy Fair Trade Coffee

Here in the West we are massive consumers of coffee. And many of us reckon nothing of spending four or five dollars at Starbucks for a gourmet espresso, latte or cappuccino.

What few of us reckon about as we sip our favorite brew is that coffee is grown by small farmers in developing countries. Most of these farmers are paid less for the coffee beans they grow that it costs for them to produce and pick them.

In other words, for every gourmet coffee you and I delight in, the grower of the beans used is descending into a deeper and deeper cycle of poverty and desperation.

It was in recognition of this cycle that the certification process for honest trade coffee was introduced in 1998.

When you buy a pound of honest trade coffee, $1.26 goes directly back to the coffee growers who grew it.

It doesn’t go directly into the hands of an individual grower, but to the cooperative to which he or she belongs. Part of the deal with honest trade coffee is that farmers are required to band together in cooperatives. The money then goes to the cooperative and is shared among all the farmers.

The issue of farmers having to join a cooperative to benefit from honest trade is a complex one, with advantages and disadvantages.

But, the huge benefit is that when $1.26 goes to the cooperative, and then to the farmer…they are receiving about the double what they would get outside of the honest trade coffee system.

In other words, when you or I buy honest trade coffee, we are providing the grower with twice the income he or she would normally receive.

Over 100 million pounds of honest trade coffee have now been sold in the U.S. alone. Better still, the numbers are growing quick.

Starbucks now offers honest trade coffees and recently Wal-Mart announced that it would start offering honest trade coffee through its Sam’s Club outlets.

When Wal-Mart becomes a buyer, you can be sure that the impact on small coffee farmers in Central and South America, East Africa and the Far East will be substantial.

Yes, it will cost you a small more to buy honest trade coffee. But when you pay that small extra, you’ll be making a real difference to the lives of coffee farmers and their families and communities.

Nicholas H. Usborne is one of the sleuths at CoffeeDetective.com CoffeeDetective.com He and his colleagues take a commonsense approach to making fantastic coffee, and give you the straight facts on coffee and coffee makers – without the marketing hype. They also write the fairtradecoffeenews.com/ Honest Trade Coffee News Blog



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