Fair Trade Certification: What This Means About Your Coffee
Certain products in your grocery store feature certifications on their labeling to inform consumers about everything from quality to where a product comes from. Coffee is one such product. One of the most important certifications that can be found on a bag of coffee is “Fair Trade.”
But what does this certification mean, and does it mean the coffee tastes better than other types not bearing the Fair Trade certification logo?
What Is Fair Trade Coffee?
Fair Trade is not a certification that is limited to the coffee industry, but it is probably the one that is most commonly associated with it. Fair Trade is “a global movement made up of a diverse network of producers, companies, consumers, advocates, and organizations putting people and planet first.”
Coffee that is sold through a Fair Trade organization makes coffee brands pay their growers a minimum price, which is traditionally higher than the commodity price of coffee. This is because for many small coffee farms, farming is a risky endeavor, and the farmers often struggle to make money.
When a bag of coffee bears the Fair Trade certification, it means that the farmer was paid a Fair Trade premium to help bring them closer to earning a sustainable living. While purchasing a bag of Fair Trade coffee is good practice for showing your support for equality and fair earnings for growers, it is important to note that the certification does not indicate that the coffee inside the bag is any higher or lower quality than any other type of coffee that’s available to the public.
Fair Trade vs. Direct Trade
Direct Trade is a term for sourcing processes in which a coffee roaster deals directly with the coffee farmer. Both Fair Trade and Direct Trade have similar goals of ensuring that coffee growers are paid fairly for their crops, but they are not the same. The primary difference is that the Fair Trade label is a third-party certification while Direct Trade is not. It is more of an ideology that some coffee roasters choose to operate by.
Therefore, if you see a bag of coffee bearing a Direct Trade logo, it simply means that the coffee roaster “certifies” the coffee based upon their specific internal definition of Direct Trade coffee.
Buy Fair Trade Coffee and Support Responsible Coffee Growers
Buying Fair Trade coffee helps small coffee farms thrive. Where and how we choose to spend our money is the most powerful commodity we consumers have. Choosing to purchase Fair Trade coffee means that you care about those working incredibly hard behind the scenes to ensure you enjoy the finest cup of coffee every morning and you want to do your part to ensure they are being properly paid for their efforts.
The Exotic Bean has Fair Trade coffee from some of the world’s best growers. Shop our incredible selection and treat yourself or someone you care deeply about to a bag of the world’s finest coffee. Order yourself a bag of premium coffee today and savor the taste and the fantastic feeling that comes from buying responsibly.