What Is Fair-Trade Coffee, and Why Should You Be Drinking It?

If you are one of the 46% of Australian’s who enjoys their daily morning coffee, you may have come across the term “Fair-Trade Coffee”, and wondered what exactly fair trade coffee is.

The coffee industry is largely dominated by multinational companies supplying cheap and generic coffee in supermarkets and fast food chains. For these large companies the quality and taste of the coffee beans comes second to price. It is this type of coffee, grown as cheaply as possible, that leads to the unethical practices.

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The farmers who grow the coffee for the large multinationals will often resort to cheap labour, exploiting not only workers but also children on the plantations. Alongside this, large areas of native trees are cleared in order to grow as much coffee as possible, using cheap synthetic pesticides.

Over the past decade there has been a growth of specialty coffee roasters who have worked to raise industry standards, and inform consumers of the process from farm to cup.

These specialty roasters are offering “Fair-Trade” beans, ensuring that the farmers have not been exploited and a minimum price per kg is paid – with additional premium paid for organic coffee.

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Through ethical trade production of coffee, specialty roasters’ desires for quality over quantity is passed onto the farmers, who are becoming aware of what cafes are looking for in their beans. As the roasters and farmers work together to improve the quality of the beans, the coffee attracts a premium price well above the fair-trade minimum.

At Ethical Trade Group we only source quality beans from fair-trade sources. We travel overseas to visit the farms where the beans are sourced, to ensure the growing conditions meet our ethical standards. We love to share what we learn to our customers, and help to break the cycle of poverty that has shadowed the coffee trade for decades, while providing the most delicious coffee beans you will ever taste.

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