Caribbean + Warehouse Blowout
This week only special pricing to help us clear out the warehouse for new crops arriving this summer.

Fair Trade Green Coffee Beans

We, too, would like to see coffee farmers earn a good living growing the wonderful bean that means so much to us, wherever in the world they are. One of the ways this is happening is through the Fair Trade program.

Those coffees that are Fair Trade certified are listed in this category, although Fair Trade is not the only way coffee farmers are earning more income. Some are doing it the old-fashioned way: growing better coffee. Those unroasted Fair Trade coffees also happen to be found here.


Fair Trade Certified


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Fair Trade Certified

Why Buy Fair Trade Coffee?

Approximately 125 million people earn their livelihood from coffee, and we aren’t just talking about baristas. All over the world, millions of people are cultivating, picking, drying, sorting, packaging, buying, selling, and shipping coffee. And, that’s only the part before it gets to its final destination. Because most coffee is grown in developing countries, and so many families (and entire economies) depend on it for their very existence, there has been a movement of conscientious people around the world to fairly support the most vulnerable members of the coffee industry. The fair trade movement works to create stability and human thriving for coffee industry workers. They promote sustainable farming practices, community development, and require ethical labor practices (excluding forced and child labor). Buying fair trade coffee means that you’ve become part of a system of intentional, equitable practice.

Brief History of Fair Trade

Fair trade coffee came about through a series of factors related to the unreliable and sometimes even volatile international coffee market. Before the fair trade movement, coffee trading was first regulated by the International Coffee Agreement of 1962. This agreement is renegotiated and renewed every several years. However, in 1988, there was a severe coffee crisis due to a greater supply than demand, and coffee prices plummeted. It was at this time that the Netherlands began the first fair trade coffee organization to artificially raise the prices of coffee in order to allow producers to make a living wage. Over time, several other fair trade entities were created in various countries all over the world. The International Coffee Agreement is still in effect today, regulating quotas, keeping prices stable, and working to create a secure world coffee market. While this agreement is essential in maintaining the stability of the world coffee economy, fair trade organizations take it one step further. Fair trade organizations work to create sustainable farming, fair wages and ethical labor practices. Because of this, fair trade beans cost the consumer more, but ultimately give more back to the growers.

Fair Trade Organizations

There are several fair trade organizations that work to provide equitable and ethical practices within the international coffee community. In 1998, the four largest fair trade organizations created an informal association known as FINE. Each letter represents one of the organizations.

  • F - Fairtrade Labelling Organizations International (FLO)
  • I - International Fair Trade Association, now the World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO)
  • N - Network of European Worldshops (NEWS!)
  • E - European Fair Trade Association (EFTA)

Their shared definition of fair trade really encompasses the vision and goals of the fair trade community.

"Fair trade is a trading partnership, based on dialogue, transparency and respect, that seeks greater equity in international trade. It contributes to sustainable development by offering better trading conditions to, and securing the rights of, marginalized producers and workers – especially in the South. Fair trade organizations, backed by consumers, are engaged actively in supporting producers, awareness raising and in campaigning for changes in the rules and practice of conventional international trade".

This greater vision of ethical practice within the coffee community is worth commending. So, the next time you drink a cup of fair trade coffee, know that it doesn’t simply taste good, it does good.

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