How Much Do You Know About Your Fair Trade Coffee? How Much Do You Know About Your Fair Trade Coffee?
The GOOD Life

How Much Do You Know About Your Fair Trade Coffee?

May 5, 2011

Shipping/Distribution

Where the product crosses over from its origin country into its destination country, there can be a significant power imbalance on the two sides of a sale negotiation. Shipping operators don't always act in the interest of their source, and might sell products outside of Fair Trade parameters, breaking a link in the fair supply chain.

One key aspect of the fair trade standard is traceability. From the farm to the retail shelf, there’s a paper trail at each stage of the supply chain. Importers and exporters are included in this chain, so shipping companies are also held to the expectation of fair prices being paid to sellers at the product origin.

When the beans reach roasters, brands, manufacturers or retailers, they pay a community development premium that goes back to the farmer cooperative and gets invested in social benefit initiatives including community infrastructure improvements, education programs, and local health care. The members of the coop vote to decide on how this premium gets invested, to ensure it’s the most appropriate use of funds for that community.

Images 1 and 2 from Fair Trade USA

Image 3 (cc) from Flickr user sarahemcc

 

This post is in partnership with Ben & Jerry's

 

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How Much Do You Know About Your Fair Trade Coffee?