Until all the coffee companies embrace a more sustainable way of working that pays producers a fair price for their production and tackles underlying issues of poverty and sustainability, the market will continue to lurch from crisis to crisis.
Kate Lewis, head of Product management, Fairtrade Foundation said;
“The recent fall in the price of Arabica coffee shows just how vulnerable coffee farmers around the world are to volatility in the markets and how important it is to be able to guarantee them a price that ensures they can cover the cost of production. In addition to offering a guaranteed minimum price and access to markets, the Fairtrade Premium enables producers to invest in improving the quality and productivity of their coffee. At least 25% of the Fairtrade Premium is allocated to improvement in farming practices to increase the volume of good quality coffee, which will be ever more important as demand increases and supplies of quality beans are increasingly affected by issues such as climate change. ”
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Notes to Editors
The Fairtrade Foundation is an independent certification body which licenses the use of the FAIRTRADE Mark on products which meet international Fairtrade standards. This independent consumer label appears on products to show that disadvantaged producers are getting a better deal from trade. Today, more than 1.5 million people – farmers and workers – across more than 74 developing countries benefit from the international Fairtrade system.
For coffee producers specifically, at least 25% of the Fairtrade Premium is reserved for improving the productivity and quality of coffee. This will include training to improve farming practices, adapting to climate change, growing organic crops and developing infrastructure.
Over 5,000 products have been licensed to carry the FAIRTRADE Mark in the UK including coffee, tea, herbal teas, chocolate, cocoa, sugar, bananas, grapes, pineapples, mangoes, avocados, apples, pears, plums, grapefruit, lemons, oranges, satsumas, clementines, mandarins, lychees, dried fruit, juices, smoothies, biscuits, cakes & snacks, honey, jams & preserves, chutney, rice, quinoa, herbs & spices, seeds, nuts, wines, ales, rum, confectionery, muesli, cereal bars, ice-cream, flowers, sports balls, sugar body scrub and cotton products including clothing, homeware, cotton wool, olive oil, gold, silver and platinum.
Awareness of the FAIRTRADE Mark continues to be high in 2014, at a level of 78%. Estimated retail sales of Fairtrade products in 2013 exceeded £1.7 billion.