Fair Trade Coffee

is coffee that is certified as having been produced to fair trade standards by fair trade organizations, which create trading partnerships that are based on dialogue, transparency and respect, with the goal of achieving greater equity in international trade. These partnerships contribute to sustainable development by offering better trading conditions to coffee bean farmers.

History Fair Trade Coffee

Fair trade certification was then introduced in 1988 following a coffee crisis in which the supply of coffee was greater than the demand; since no price quotas had been reimplemented by the International Coffee Act, the market was flooded. Launched in the Netherlands, fair trade certification aimed to artificially raise coffee prices in order to ensure growers sufficient wages to turn a profit. The original name of the organization was “Max Havelaar”, after a fictional Dutch character who opposed the exploitation of coffee farmers by Dutch colonialists in the East Indies. The organization created a label for products that met certain wage standards.

Quotas remained a part of the agreement until 1989, when the organization was unable to negotiate a new agreement in time for the next year. It was decided that the 1983 agreement would be extended, but without the quotas because they had not yet been determined. A new agreement could not be negotiated until 1992.

From 1990 to 1992, without the quotas in place, coffee prices reached an all-time low because coffee price quotas could not be decided.

The agreements of 2001 and 2007 aimed to stabilize the coffee economy by promoting coffee consumption, raising the standard of living of growers by providing economic counselling, expanding research to include niche markets and quality relating to geographic area, and conducting studies of sustainability, principles similar to fair trade

Certification Scheme and Competition

The certification scheme is run by Fairtrade International (FLO). Fairtrade has become the most dominant Fair Trade label and this has attracted a lot of competitors challenging its monopoly as an ethical label. Several labels from competitors have been created using different certification schemes. NGOs and non-profit organizations are the main threats causing enormous headache for Fairtrade International (FLO) regulating authorities. Labels like (Bird-friendly Coffee) which promote practices that help to protect the habitat of migrating birds, (American NGO Rainforest Alliance) its mission is to protect ecosystems and to preserve biodiversity and sustainability of modes of production and (UTZ Certified) is another competitor which focuses on improving the efficiency and market access of producers. However most of these organizations are criticized for failing to guarantee minimum price, failing to provide pre-financing facilities, favouring plantations at the expense of family farms.The greatest idea about the certification scheme and its competitors is that they all have a logic of innovation they constantly attempt to innovate rather than generating income only but proactively meet the changing needs of different objectives with different ambitions.

Coffee packers pay Fairtrade a fee for the right to use the Fairtrade logo, which gives consumers an assurance that the coffee meets Fairtrade criteria. The coffee with this certification mark must be produced by farmers and cooperatives that meet these criteria.

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