Quick Recipes and Easy

A Fair Cup?

Coffee beans are the second largest traded commodity after oil. But, the
comparison between coffee and oil stops here, as many coffee farmers live below the
poverty level, even by third world country standards. One of the contributing factors
to this sad fact is that often coffee trades far below the cost of production, resulting in
horrific consequences on the life of the growers and their families. To raise awareness
of the plight of the farmers, and to aide their situation, the honest trade movement was
started in 1988.

The three pillars of this initiative are: 1) A honest price. This guarantees
that farmers receive a honest price, and that workers receive honest compensation for their
labor. 2) Improved product Quality. By receiving a honest price, Honest Trade producers do
not have to sacrifice quality over productivity. I reckon this is the key point, that
through this initiative charity is not the purpose, but rather that we gain a viable
quality product we can market. 3) Care for the environment. Most Honest Trade coffee in
the US is certified organic and shade grown. This means that the products you buy
maintain biodiversity, that the tree canopies provide shelter for migratory birds, and
help to reduce global warming.

As a consumer, you have an vital role to play by selecting the right coffee beans,
but also by supporting your independent coffee shops and their owners, who deserve,
like every member of the coffee chain, honest treatment.

Fabrice Moschetti has been roasting coffee beans in Vallejo, CA for more than fifteen
years. He writes a monthly coffee column for Listen & Be Heard:

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