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A Cup of Justice Coffee, Fair Trade, & Justice for Farmers in the Global South
Many Small Farm Families Depend on Coffee Worldwide, 20 to 25 million small farm households, some 125 million people, depend on coffee for their livelihoods. Nicaragua Costa Rica Ethiopia
Small coffee farmers receive 1% or less of the price of a cup of coffee sold in a coffee shop. 5% 1% They receive roughly 5% of the retail price of a package of coffee sold in a U. S. supermarket.
Small coffee farmers, their families and communities are suffering
What Is Happening in the Global Coffee Industry ? Ethiopian coffee farmer
Prices Paid Coffee Farmers are Very Low The price farmers receive for their coffee is at a record low, just 25% of the price in 1960.
An excess supply of coffee has driven down the price Farmers try to offset the falling price by producing and selling even more. But this leads to even lower prices and earnings continue to fall.
Small Farmers Earn too Little Low coffee prices and small farmers’ vulnerability and disadvantage mean they earn too little for their coffee.
Developing Countries Earn too Little Exporters in coffee-producing (usually poor) countries sell their coffee to international buyers and roasters. These large multinational firms seek to pay as little as possible. Just three roasters (Nestle, Kraft/ Maxwell House, and Sara Lee) process 45% of the world’s coffee. Just four companies purchase 40% of the world’s coffee.
The Impact of Low Coffee Earnings On Coffee Farmers and their Communities Chiapas, Mex. San Cristobal de las Casas, Mex.
Impact of Low Coffee Earnings Worsening poverty In Mexico, “as a result of the decline in farmers’ income, about 20% of children were taken out of school and [farmers] were unable to afford clothes, shoes, basic medical attention, and repayment of credit. ” -- Mexico: Coordinadora Nacional de Organizaciones Cafetaleras Chiapas, Mex.
Impact of Low Coffee Earnings Loss of Farms Farmers can lose their land, forcing families to move to cities where living conditions may be inhumane and jobs are scarce. Indonesia Brazil
Impact of Low Coffee Earnings Migration Farmers may leave their country, seeking work elsewhere. Tens of thousands of Mexican coffee farmers have left their land, leaving behind grieving families and weakened communities. Some come to the U. S. without documents. U. S. -Mexico border
What Can Be Done ? Fair Trade, not “free” trade, will improve the lives of coffee farmers Fair-trade importers provide a vital link between small farmers and consumers who seek justice for small coffee farmers.
A Fair Trade Coffee Importer Agrees to: Buy coffee grown by small farmers organized into cooperatives (coops).
What is a Coop? A cooperative (coop) is a business that is owned and democratically controlled by its members. Members, CIRSA Coop, Chiapas, Mex.
What is a Coop? A coop operates for the benefit of its members. It does not earn profits for shareholders. It elects its own leadership and does not answer to an outside board. Coffee coop members, Nicaragua
A Fair Trade Coffee Importer Agrees to: Pay a fair price currently set at $1. 21 a pound or pay the world price, whichever is higher; and Pay a 5 cent per pound “social premium; ” and If organic, pay an additional 15 cents a pound.
The Social Premium The social premium of 5 cents per pound is paid to the coop, not to farmers. Coop members decide how this money is to be used: for example, to purchase needed equipment such as a truck to transport coffee, or to build a school or clinic. Truck purchased by Mexican coop
A Fair Trade Coffee Importer Agrees to: Purchase coffee directly from farmer coops, eliminating many “middle men” and opportunities for exploitation, providing higher prices for farmers. Warehouse, CIRSA Coop, Chiapas, Mex.
Benefits of Fair Trade to Farmers and their Families Better education, health, and opportunities due to the social premium payment. Higher incomes. Greater access to credit for investment and other needs.
Benefits of Fair Trade to Farm Communities Enhanced community opportunities such as economic development projects, schools, health clinics, sanitation facilities, clean water, and fuel-efficient stoves. Strengthened communities with less poverty, more stability, and healthier and more educated community members.
Fairly Traded Coffee Certified fair-trade coops produce seven times more coffee than fair trade buyers purchase. They cannot sell all their coffee to fair trade purchasers. So we need to expand sales of fairly traded coffee.
Fairly Traded Certified Coffee The nonprofit organization Trans. Fair USA certifies coffee, tea, chocolate, rice, sugar and a few fresh fruits. WATCH FOR & BUY PRODUCTS WITH THIS LABEL
Where to Buy Fairly Traded Coffee There a number of Fairly Traded coffee traders and roasters. Coffee, tea, and cocoa may be purchased through the UCC-Equal Exchange Coffee Project (www. ucc. org/justice/issues/coffee-project/)
Where to Buy Fairly Traded Coffee Starbucks, Dunkin' Donuts, Procter & Gamble, and other large corporations have also agreed to sell Fairly Traded coffee. However, consumers report it is often unavailable when they request it. The Bottom Line: Watch for the Fair Trade Certified logo
Produced by Edith Rasell Minister for Workplace Justice and Witness Ministries United Church of Christ 700 Prospect Ave Cleveland, OH 44115 -1100 216 -736 -3709 [email protected] org 2006 , God is Still Speaking