Wednesday, October 10, 2012

We drink Fair Trade Coffee but do we know what it means?

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Ok, anyone who drinks coffee that isn't in coolatta form has probably had or seen the Fair Trade Label on Coffee.  I was asked to participate in this campaign for BZZ Agent and never really looked at the impact of wheather I choose Fair Trade Coffee or not.

In very basic terms, when you buy fair trade coffee you know that the coffee you bought, the farmers who grew it paid a fair price for the coffee and their labor, given technical help to help in growing and trasnitioning to Oraganic.  Farmers who sell their coffee under the Fair Trade Lable must grow their coffee in a sustainable atmosphere, they work under a stritk set of international laws that promote re forestration, enviromental friednly ways to grow their coffee, this is because they know that they are going to be paid a fair price.  Otherwise farmers who are being taking advantage of for cheap labor and pricing, may resort to more economical ways to grow and harvest their coffee beans, that are usually not enviromentally friendly.

Women in rural areas are still very much dismissed and treated badly, not having any basic benefits, but the women working on a Fair Trade plantation are given access to free health care,  job rights and protection from discrimination.  This is a receipe that leads to empowerment, and then they provide strong role models for young girls and this hopefully goes on generation to  generation.

Revenues are set aside to build schools and help with education.  When the family is earning a fair wage then the child can stay in school and learn instead of having to work the felids for little wages just to help the family survive, therefore enrollment stays strong.

Farmers can sustain market price fluctuations because they are all joined together as one big supplier.

I am much more enlightened about Fair Trade than I have ever imagined.  Next time I am given the choice of drinking or buying Fair Trade Coffee vrs the other, I will be buying Fair Trade.

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