Fair Trade coffees have been certified by TransFair USA in the US and by the Fairtrade Labelling Organization International (FLO) at origin. TransFair’s rigorous audit system tracks products from farm to market, verifying industry and farmer compliance with Fair Trade Criteria.
The purpose of fair trade is to promote healthier working conditions and greater economic incentive for producers. Coffee farmers producing fair trade certified coffee are required to be part of a co-op with other local growers. The co-ops determine how the premiums from fair trade coffee will be spent. Growers are guaranteed a minimum price for the coffee, and if market prices exceed the minimum, they receive a per pound premium.
Participating co-ops are guaranteed a minimum price $1.31/lb for non-organic and $1.51/lb for certified organic coffee – or $.10 above ‘C’ market price for conventional coffees with an addition $.20 Certified organic premium. Growers are free to organize democratically. Co-op members elect co-op management and decide how the FT $.10 premium is used.
Farmers minimize chemical use and avoid the most harmful pesticides altogether. International Labour Organization standards, covering child and forced labour, freedom of association, collective bargaining, and anti discrimination must be met.
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