The term ‘Fair Trade’ has been a familiar one for quite some time now. We have shelves full of Fair Trade coffee, bananas, and chocolate on our supermarket shelves. We buy Fair Trade lotions and creams from ethical beauty stores. Yet, how much do you know about what Fair Trade stands for, particularly when it comes to highly valued produce like coffee?
What Does the Fair Trade Logo Represent?
The Fair Trade logo is something which many of us see almost every day, certainly every time that we go food shopping. There might even be some Fair Trade coffee in your kitchen cupboard right now. The practical significance of the logo and what it represents, however, can be easily lost in the changing trends and fads of the day.
For example, there was a time when it was considered ‘cool’ to be Fair Trade and a lot of people jumped on the bandwagon because scores of high profile celebrities and Hollywood stars were revealed to be big fans of organic produce. While any interest in ethically grown produce is a great thing, it is important to take some time to think about what you are buying and why.
The term Fair Trade is used to refer to a method of purchasing and selling goods and commodities (usually produce) whereby the local growers, producers, and suppliers are fairly compensated for the labor which they contribute. It can also be used to describe policies which make preservation of the natural environment a top priority.
At present, around 85% of all Fair Trade coffee beans are grown organically. This does make them slightly more expensive than budget coffee brands, but the thing to remember is that the extra expense goes to rainforest conservation projects, fair wages for local growers, and the construction of schools and clinics in poor regions. The following three reasons should be more than enough to convince you to swap your budget coffee for a superbly silky and full bodied Fair Trade blend.
It Supports the Preservation of Natural Landscapes
If you buy Fair Trade coffee blends, or any brand of organically grown coffee, you are contributing to healthier and less damaging methods of farming and agricultural production. While it can be difficult to see and to feel the benefits of spending that little bit more on organic produce, the reality is that even economically friendly farming practices halfway across the world can end up having a positive impact on climates which are thousands of miles away.
On Fair Trade affiliated farms and grow spots, suppliers work hard to dramatically reduce and eventually eradicate the use of harmful toxic agrochemicals, pesticides, fertilizers, and other detrimental chemicals. Plus, the vast majority of Fair Trade coffee companies work closely with growers and farmers to make sure that production methods are completely sustainable, so that the produce will continue to be a part of the landscape for many years to come.
It Guarantees Farmers a Fair Wage
The ethical and responsible consumer is one who actively supports the exchange of a fair product for a fair wage. Now, just think about the quality of the coffee beans which are produced in amazing environments like Peru, Indonesia, and South America. There is a very good reason these landscapes create superb produce and, as consumers, it is important to recognize and honor that.
It is not widely known that Fair Trade coffee is actually subject to a base commercial price, so that consumers can never be ripped off. This is part of the Fair Trade contract after all – it is not just about helping out unknown farmers for nothing in return, because you get to enjoy extremely high quality coffee blends at prices which stay affordable too.
It Tastes Better and It Is Much Healthier
You might be surprised to find that Fair Trade coffee is better for your health, as well as tasting much finer and richer. As international demand for coffee beans grows more and more every single year, the techniques used to produce it get more and more unscrupulous. The bottom line is that organic Fair Trade coffee is grown without chemicals, nurtured at a natural pace, and allowed to retain all of its minerals and nutrients.
Plus, organically grown coffee beans are processed and pressed without the use of additives or chemicals as well. In essence, because the farmers have been kind to the soil, the soil is able to offer up more of the good stuff – vitamins, nutrients, minerals, and a whole bunch of stuff which it feeds back into the plants and uses to make them grow up tall and strong.