Organic coffee is coffee that is grown without the use of synthetic pesticides or fertilizers. Fair Trade by the Fair Trade Labeling Organization (FLO) is a program that grants participating coffee farmers access to working capital and higher prices for their coffees. If a Fair Trade farmer becomes a certified organic coffee grower they are guaranteed even higher prices for their high quality coffee.
Coffee is the second largest traded commodity (after oil) in the entire world. Coffee is grown between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn in some of the poorest countries in the world. Due to the depressed economies of most coffee producing countries the commodity market (C) price has remained relatively low. If a coffee farmer only received the C price for their beans they would not be able to stay in business. They would need to supplement their income by other means. Organic Fair Trade coffee farmers on the other hand are guaranteed prices much higher than the C market. In addition to their guaranteed prices they can fetch even higher prices based on the quality of their coffee beans.
The very highly valued FLO certification is given to coffee farmers that offer their staff acceptable earnings plus a safe workplace. Their employees should also be allowed liberty of association. Apart from this, organic Fair Trade coffee farming should not engage in poor child labor practices. Additionally, Fair Trade participants re-invest in their farms a community. The overall goal of Fair Trade is to raise the living standard of the farmers and their communities.
Organic certified coffee cannot be genetically modified and cannot be grown utilizing synthetic chemicals. Fair Trade coffee farmers that are certified organic have the best chance at earning a decent living from their hard work.
There’s still an ongoing discussion about organic Fair Trade coffee
They may have the seal of approval of the independent agency that the beans were cultivated without the assistance of chemical pesticide sprays and fertilizers or herbicides, but there’s still much more on the journey to the end consumer. The coffee must be processed, packaged and ultimately roasted.
The roasting process transforms the hard, dense green coffee bean into a plump, grindable coffee bean that can produce a wonderful cup of coffee. Organic Fair Trade coffees are typically shade grown at great altitude. This results in a very compact, flavorful bean. Depending on the skill of the roaster, organic Fair Trade coffee can produce the very best cup of coffee. It may be more expensive than conventionally grown coffee, but it helps farmers and their communities, plus it tastes great!