Awakening Nation

Fair Trade Coffee Making Inroads




Small farmers in developing nations are gaining ground against middlemen and reaping a 10- to 20-percent greater share of the profits as corporate America sniffs out growing demand for fair trade coffee. Some 27 percent of Americans say they’re aware of fair trade certification today, up from 12 percent in 2004, according to the National Coffee Association.

Although only 3.3 percent of coffee sold in the United States in 2006 was certified fair trade, it was eight times the amount five years earlier, reports TransFair USA. “We see a real momentum now with big companies and institutions switching to fair trade,” confirms Paul Rice, TransFair president and CEO. Hi-profile examples are Dunkin’ Donuts, McDonald’s, Starbucks and Wal-Mart’s Sam’s Club.

Fair trade certification of coffee reflects a concern for the well-being of marginalized small producers that doesn’t maximize profit at their expense. Fair trade cocoa, tea, pineapples, flowers and cotton are on the rise as well. Fairtrade Labelling Organizations International notes that the latest compiled numbers show that consumers worldwide spent about $2.2 billion on certified products in 2006, up 42 percent over the previous year. More than seven million people in developing countries benefited.


Source:  grist.org

Edit ModuleShow Tags

More from Natural Awakenings

Migrating Trees

Three-quarters of American tree species have shifted to the West since 1980 due to dryer conditions in the East and changing rainfall patterns.

Plutonium Problem

To safely dispose of 56 million gallons of nuclear waste dating back to the Second World War, the Department of Energy might replace a glass-log encasement plan with a cement option.

Bat Banter

Computer algorithms helped Israeli researchers decode the language of Egyptian fruit bats and discover that bats exchange information about specific problems.

Tuna Turnaround

Levels of toxic mercury in Atlantic Bluefin tuna declined 19 percent between 2004 and 2012, a drop that scientists attribute to a shift from coal to natural gas and renewable energy.

Buzzing RoboBees

Harvard researchers have invented tiny robotic bees that may be able to eventually pollinate the crops that are under threat because of vanishing bee colonies.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags