A lot is made of Fair Trade certification these days and the buying of products which ensure that farmers and workers in the developing world get a fair price as well as other benefits from trading their produce. However, when it comes to ethical, fair-trade coffee do people really take notice? Are coffee drinkers all that selective in the brands they drink?
We will be considering what fair-trade is all about as well as showing how the Pay Fair-trade Forward Day Campaign in New Zealand has spread the news about social justice and giving coffee growers the best deal for their trade.
The essence of fair-trade, as we have already suggested, is an attempt to level the playing field for farmers as they look to improve working conditions, get a sustainable price for the coffee beans (at least the market price or higher) and take care of local sustainability into the bargain. Fair-trade seeks to address any injustices found with the conventional trade system.
For customers in the UK and beyond, they now have a choice whether to go with the fair-trade branded products or just grab a regular cup of coffee. This will all depend on the availability of the coffee as well as where you go to get it. However, fair-trade coffee beans and instant products can now be found in most supermarkets, while cafes and restaurants are busy jumping on board the scheme.
The Fair Trade mark is the most commonly seen symbol of fair-trade in the UK, with this brand now featuring on coffee packets throughout the land. The development organisation known as the Fair Trade Foundation also works to uphold standards in 20 other nations. This ethical certification scheme is ISO 65 accredited by independent body, FLO-CERT.
Coffee lovers in New Zealand have just had their national Pay Fair-Trade Forward day, which involved volunteers going into fair-trade selling cafes across the country and buying cups of coffee for the next customer. While their free drink is being prepared, the volunteer explains all about ethical consumerism and fair-trade – how it benefits coffee growers in developing countries. They then get the chance to pay for the next customer and pass on the information they have gained about fair-trade.
It does seem that fair-trade is certainly becoming more important to coffee drinkers in the UK and across the globe, with people wanting to buy coffee and other products which guarantee a fair price for farmers.
Some coffee drinkers may not be aware but the Fair Trade mark can now be found on coffee machines as well as other products and coffee bean packaging.