Fair Trade Facts: Why does fair trade matter?

Fair trade goals

Farmer with bag of coffee

A farmer carries a bag of coffee beans. As a
fair trade farmer, he’ll receive at least $1.26
for every pound of coffee he sells.

The goals of the fair trade coffee movement are to provide coffee farmers with a fair wage, which is $1.26 per pound of coffee. This acts as a safety net, protecting small farmers when market prices fluctuate and fall to extremely low rates. The fair trade price is most relevant in times when the market price is low, and small farmers receive barely enough money to cover the costs of planting much less provide for their families.

The fair trade movement also provides credit for small farmers. With access to credit during the months between harvests, small farmers will no longer be forced to sell the future rights to their crop to local middlemen at extremely low prices in exchange for cash upfront.

© 2006 by Mesa Johnson
E-mail me at mmjohnson2@stthomas.edu