We at Anchorage Camai Bed and Breakfast became aware of the Fair Trade movement for social change several years ago. At that time I began buying Fairly Traded Coffee to serve at Camai B&B. Recently I’ve become aware that gourmet coffee giants such as Starbucks are selling coffee that is Fair Trade. On the surface buying Fairly Traded coffee sounds like a good thing to do, but what is it and does it matter that Camai Bed and Breakfast buys Fair Trade coffee?
Fair Trade Coffee is a to way for ethically minded people to link to democratically organized groups of poor Southern producers. The goal is to help alleviate the poverty of many of the world’s coffee growers.
“One Cup at a Time: Poverty Alleviation and Fair Trade Coffee in Latin America.” This report dated March 2003 was based on a research study conducted by the Fair Trade Research Group at Colorado State University.
Some highlights of the report:
• Fair Trade certified coffee producers agree to produce their coffee under an externally monitored set of social and environmental standards. In return they receive a guaranteed price for their coffee.
• When this research was done the vast majority of Fair Trade coffee was produced in indigenous communities in Latin America.
• It concluded that the Fair Trade movement has “greatly improved the well-being of small-scale coffee farmers and their families.”
For the full report click here
Scroll all the way to the bottom and click on reference note #20.
The World Trade Organizations’ website lists ten standards (mostly for the growers) of fair trade.
1. Creating Opportunities for Economically Disadvantaged Producers
2. Transparency and Accountability
3. Trading Practices
4. Payment of a Fair Price
5. Child Labor and Forced Labor
6. Non Discrimination, Gender Equity and Freedom of Association
7. Working Conditions
8. Capacity Building
9. Promotion of Fair Trade
Details are on their website linked above.
Bottom line: Join us each morning for freshly brewed Fair Trade coffee or a Fair Trade espresso at Camai B&B. Each cup makes a difference.