Fair Trade Facts: Why does fair trade matter?

Social justice and fair trade

Farmer with bag of coffee

As the children of fair trade
farmers, these kids now attend
school and receive health care
instead of harvesting crops.

Because coffee is a product that is so widely traded and consumed, it has an immense impact on the economic
well-being of people in the poor countries where it is produced. But it is for the same reason that coffee offers one of the most promising avenues for bringing about positive change in the form of social justice.

Fair trade is an attempt to ensure that coffee farmers receive a living wage — a wage that allows them to profit from the gourmet coffee boom. Fair trade guarantees farmers a wage that allows them to pay for the costs of cultivating coffee while allowing them enough money to provide for their families. Coffee that is certified as fair trade is the first product in the United States with an independently monitored system to ensure that it was produced under fair labor conditions.

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