fair trade

July 5, 2017


Yuka Hasegawa

Fair Trade of Coffee

Fair trade is the movement which seeks equally in international trade. Fair trade products are made in mainly developing countries such as Africa, Asia, Oceania and Latin America. The productions are independent on small farmers who are suffer from poverty and severe working condition. Fair trade involve any kind of products, for example, Bananas, cocoa, coffee, cotton, flowers, and sugar. Among them, coffee accounts for a large percentage of fair trade. In19988, coffee from Mexica was toe the first fair trade products, and now about half of 1.6 million farmers involved in fair trade is coffee farmers.

First, Fair trade improve working conditions and lives of farmers. Around the world, the coffee beans industry is independent on child slavery and forced labor. They have little rights and wages. They are forced to work long hours and exposed to dangerous conditions, such as chemical fertilizer and pesticides canned in Us. According to the survey of” The good trade”, “The International labor Organization estimates that there are 250 million children slaves working to produce such as coffee and cocoa. Fair trade certification makes system that farmers receive a fair price their working. Many small-scale coffee farmers are forced to sell their products to middle men. This system makes farmers profit poor. Fair trade certification enables small –scale farmers to trade their coffee beans to buyers directly. In other words, thanks to fair trade certification, it makes possible to middlemen and buyers is cut and the profit is received farmers.      What’s more, fair trade certification protect farmers from coffee market fluctuations, so farmers get wage to live regardless of market conditions. Fair trade established the minimum price of product and wage to workers. In 2011 the minimum price of Arabica coffee was increased to $1.40 per pound. It allows workers to ensure health and safety standard. Therefore, fair trade certification makes farmers lives better.

Second, Fair trade improves environmental standards. These days, the coffee production make environmental damages. Traditionally, coffee farmers cultivated coffee under a shaded canopy of tree. This method provides great habitat for animals and insects. However, from 1970, many producers changed their farming coffee method from “shaded cultivate” to “sun cultivation” because of the increasing market demand. “Sun cultivation” decrease biodiversity in the coffee plant. As a result, 2.5 million acres of forest was diminished. What’s more, “sun cultivations” needs chemical fertilizers. Sun cultivation cause many negative environmental problems. In shade cultivation, trees are bare of leaves which provide nutrition to the soil, On the other hand, in sun cultivation, producers must use fertilizers instead of fallen leaves. The fertilizers leach into the local watershed. Additionally, there are more weeds in sun plantation than in shade plantation. since in shade plantation, shade and the fallen leaves prevent weeds from growing, so sun cultivations need herbicides. To make matters worse, drenching rains typical of tropical areas directly damage soil e in sun plantations, and it cause soil erosion. The soil erosion makes chemical fertilizers, pesticide and herbicides leach into local water sheds and pollute local water. Farmers use cheap agricultural chemical fertilizers which damages the environment because they can’t make ends meet. Fair trade promotes organic certification. It trains for producers and established a higher price incentive for organic products. According to the survey of “Why Fair Trade Means Protecting the Environment, Too” by Fair Trade USA on Monday, Apr 30th, 2012, it is said that “ over half (62 percent) of all Fair Trade imports into the United States are also organic, and 52 percent of all Fair Trade producer organizations world-wide hold organic certificates.”.  Thanks to fair trade, organic product increase and the environmental damage where coffee is cultivated become small. For these reasons, Fair trade makes environmental problems better.

Finally, fair trade provides merit with people. Fair trade is the movement for only growers. However, fair trade is not only for producers but also for us. We can buy coffee every day and everywhere now. This is materialized by stable coffee production. If provision of coffee is unstable, we cannot enjoy drinking coffee as same as now. In order to keep stable coffee supply, it is important to make condition which farmers can grow coffee beans with investment in stable life. According to the site of “FAIR TRADE USA”, it is said that “In Fair Trade growers also earn a premium of $0.20/lb for community investment, and an additional $0.30 if the coffee is also organic. Of this additional income, 25% is designated for investment in quality and productivity, though many producers vote to spend significantly more in this area.”. Accordingly, fair trade improves the quality of coffee beans.

In conclusion, fair trade benefits not only farmers but also the environment and consumers. We should buy fair trade coffee when you have a chance.


Why Fair Trade Means Protecting the Environment, Too

Fair Trade use