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What Is Fair-Trade Coffee, Exactly?

There are quite a few descriptors for coffees these days—blended, flavored, organic, single-origin, micro-lot, and fair-trade are the most common. But aside from the obvious labels, what do these mean? We’ll take a look at the different labels starting this week with Fair-Trade.   fair trade coffee  

What Is Fair-Trade?

So, what is fair-trade, anyway? According to the World Fair Trade Organization, fair-trade is a “trading partnership based on dialogue, transparency, and respect that seeks greater equity in international trade. It contributes to sustainable development by offering better trading conditions to, and securing the right of, marginalized producers and workers.”   OK, great, but what does that mean? Essentially it means that there is a commitment to putting the livelihood of the grower or producer first. With a fair-trade agreement, the farmer is empowered through equitable pay to invest the money into his/her farm, family, and community.  

How Does Fair-Trade Help Others?

Great question! Like we said, through fair-trade, the farmer is empowered, receives equitable pay, and is encouraged to invest in himself and his community. Let’s break that down.   Income A fair-trade agreement should mean that, regardless of what is happening in the stock market, what the farmer earns for his coffee pays for basic needs. Ensuring the growers are able to take care of themselves, their family, and their farm goes a long way to supporting a thriving community.   Empowerment Fair-trade also ensures the growers are empowered regardless of status, gender, or physical location. Giving these growers a voice means they can contribute to growing practices and standards in the coffee growing business and their local communities.   Well-being When a grower receives a fair price for their coffee, it gives him/her a chance to invest that money into self-training to learn better farming and/or business practices as well as to help the community to better basic needs like clean water, healthcare, and education.   Environment Finally, fair-trade agreements allow the farmers to invest in farming practices that are better for the environment. As you can see on our Fair-Trade page, all our Fair-Trade coffees are also organic. Providing a fair price means farmers can refrain from using pesticides and chemicals when growing their crops.  

But Is The Coffee Any Good?

Fair-trade coffee depends on people liking it. It is an essential part of the process. I the coffee doesn’t taste good, then people just aren’t going to buy it. Therefore, yes! Fair-trade coffee is good!   At CoffeeAM we have 7 fair-trade coffees to choose from and all of them are excellent. In addition to being fair-trade, they are also organic. Read on to learn more about these mouthwatering brews.   Organic Sumatra ‘Gayo Mountain Fair-Trade Heavy and rich, this medium-dark roasted Indonesian brew is smooth and much sweeter than it’s ‘Black Satin’ counterpart. Grown in strict accordance with organic regulations and practices, the small community surrounding the farm where this is grown benefits directly from the production of the exceptional coffee.   Organic Sumatra ‘Black Satin Roast’ Fair-Trade This top-selling bean is dark roasted and perfect for your espressos. The intense flavor is smooth and velvety with a smoky and earthy overtone and a black pepper finish. Grown in the Lake Toba region of Sumatra, this incredibly unique bean is grown without the use of chemicals or pesticides and truly benefits the farmers who produce it.   Organic Nicaragua ‘Ceocafen’ Fair-Trade Grown by the Ceocafen cooperative in Matagalpa, Jinotega, and the surrounding area, this Nicaraguan coffee is of the finest quality. Medium-light roasting brings out the naturally mild and fruity flavors which yield to a rich chocolaty finish.   Organic Guatemala ‘Santiago Atitlan’ Fair-Trade Our best-selling ‘Santiago Atitlan’ is grown high in the mountains of Guatemala under shade trees, protected by migratory birds, and in an environment which promotes slow growth. These combine to produce coffee beans bursting with bold and rich flavor. We medium roast to bring out the bright sweetness this bean is known for.   Organic Ethiopia Sidamo Fair-Trade Soft and light, this Ethiopian coffee is medium-light roasted to bring out the spicy floral notes in the wine-like brew. Hand harvested and dry processed, this smooth coffee is clean tasting and mild, perfect with meals.   Organic Bolivia ‘Colonial Caranavi’ Fair-Trade This heavy-bodied coffee is grown across 41 farms by native farmers known as Colonials. The farmers work to improve the quality of their coffee and their growing practices to bring you a sweet and fruity brew that will capture you from the very first sip. Clean and with low acidity, you’re sure to enjoy the nutty chocolate finish.   Organic Timor Fair-Trade Finally, on the small island of Timor, over 7,000 farmers grown this fair-trade coffee. These farmers have banded together into cooperatives and groups in order to work together, combining their resources to improve production capacity. Earthy with woody herb notes and just a hint of syrup and dark chocolate, this medium-roasted bean has a smooth consistency and an excellent body.   So the next time you’re looking for something different to drink and want to make a difference, try one of these incredibly interesting coffees. Let us know in the comments what you think of them.
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