Date: 1 October
Place: Your favourite coffee spot
Celebrate International Coffee Day on 1 October this year by raising a mug filled with Fairtrade coffee. By choosing Fairtrade coffee you are helping coffee farmers become sustainable and bettering their lives and those of their communities. Fairtrade coffees available in South Africa include: Nawa coffee, Mugg & Bean, Antigua Café Deluxe, Blacksmith Honesty Blend, Puro Coffee, Espresseco Coffee Capsules, Woolworths Organic Coffee, and Woolworths Instant Coffee, Terboore, Fabino, Motherland Coffee and Bean There coffee.
Fairtrade Impact for Small-scale Coffee Farmers
The global price of coffee tends to rise and fall like a roller coaster. This volatility is due to a number of factors which can include bouts of disease – such as the recent leaf rust epidemic in Central America – unpredictable weather patterns, large harvests from major origins (like Brazil, Vietnam or Colombia) or wide-ranging speculation in future markets.
Fairtrade aims to give farmers stability in this unpredictable market environment by offering a Fairtrade Minimum Price, which helps protect them from volatile price drops. If the market price exceeds the Fairtrade Minimum Price, farmers negotiate with buyers to sell at a higher price based on quality and other factors. Check out our Minimum Price and Premium table for the current Fairtrade Minimum Prices.
In addition, coffee farmers receive a Fairtrade Premium of 20 cents per pound for conventional coffee and additional 30 cents per pound if produced organically. At least five cents per pound of the Fairtrade Premium is dedicated to improved production or quality.
Fairtrade focuses its efforts on organizing small-scale farmers who produce 70-80 percent of the world’s coffee.
By helping smallholder farmers to organize themselves into small producer organizations – such as cooperatives and associations – farmers can negotiate better terms of trade and Fairtrade can have a larger impact.
Fairtrade Coffee Facts
• Nearly half of all Fairtrade producers are coffee growers with roughly 812,500 small-scale farmers organized in 445 producer organizations, according to the 2015 Fairtrade Monitoring and Impact Report.
• Coffee farmers in 30 countries produce according to Fairtrade Standards.
• 80 percent of Fairtrade coffee comes from Latin America (mostly from Colombia, Brazil, Peru, Nicaragua and Costa Rica), but Fairtrade coffee farmers also live in countries like Uganda, Tanzania and Indonesia.
• In 2013-14, coffee farmers received €49 million in Fairtrade Premium funds.
• Fairtrade farmers cultivate Arabica (milder and more expensive) and Robusta (stronger and less expensive) coffee beans.
• Coffee is Fairtrade consumers’ favourite product, accounting for 25 percent of all retail sales.
• Coffee is one of the world's most popular beverages and 80% of it is produced by 25 million smallholders.
• The coffee supply chain is complex as beans pass hands through growers, traders, processors, exporters, roaster, retailers and finally the consumer.
• Around 125 million people worldwide depend on coffee for their livelihoods.
• Global coffee production varies from year to year according to weather conditions, disease and other factors, resulting in a coffee market that is inherently unstable and characterised by wide fluctuations in price.
• This price volatility has significant consequences for those who depend on coffee for their livelihood, making it difficult for growers to predict their income for the coming season and budget for their household and farming needs.
• Fairtrade aims to give farmers stability in this unpredictable market environment by offering a Fairtrade Minimum Price, which helps protect them from volatile price drops.
• Fairtrade was started in response to the dire struggles of Mexican coffee farmers following the collapse of world coffee prices in the late 1980s.
• With Fairtrade, certified coffee producer organisations are guaranteed to receive at least the Fairtrade Minimum Price for their coffee, which aims to cover their costs of production and act as a safety net when market prices fall below a sustainable level.
• Through their producer organisations, farmers also receive the additional Fairtrade Premium to invest in business or community improvements.
• Fairtrade cares about improving quality, and Fairtrade coffee farmers must use at least 25 per cent of it to enhance productivity and quality, for example by investing in processing facilities.