Why Fair Trade Month is Important in The Coffee Industry
For twelve years now, Fair Trade Month has been celebrated. Fair Trade is the movement dedicated to ensuring that we operate in a system that is sustainable over the long-term. This is done through focusing on environmental sustainability, ensuring that producers and the local communities supporting them are treated fairly, and through always engaging actively in supporting ethical ways of doing business.
When you make a point of buying fair trade coffee instead of coffee produced under other means, you’re becoming an active participant in improving the world. You get the same great product that you’re depending on. However, by ensuring the coffee is fair trade you also gain the peace of mind that comes from knowing that your money is going to support a sustainable business model. This is how we can ensure that coffee producers and the environment that the coffee is grown in stay productive and sustainable for generations to come.
Community advancement is certainly one of the most important elements of the fair trade movement. For every product you normally can get in a grocery store, including coffee, there is an entire industry of producers who work hard to grow a high quality product. However, in many parts of the world these farmers are woefully underpaid for their work, leaving them unable to continue, or leaving them and their families subsisting on starvation wages.
The aim of community advancement is to have farmers fairly compensated for the product they produce, and to educate them in sustainable business practices. The goal is to create industries of producers utilizing best practices the world over, ensuring that we can all continue enjoying the products we love, while those who produce them can earn a fair living for their work.
Environmental protection is another critical component to the fair trade movement. Without proper measures in place to protect the environment, it is impossible to keep land fertile and productive. Over-burdening the land with poor agricultural practices or improper environmental stewardship could eventually leave us with a planet unable to produce coffee – something none of us want!
Growing coffee takes a very specific type of ecosystem. Farming practices that don’t take environmental stewardship into regard can quickly deplete these, leaving them barren and unable to continue producing. By taking an active role in environmental preservation, we not only protect the earth in a responsible fashion, we also ensure a sustainable production of our favorite products. This of course, includes the magical beans that we roast to produce the world’s favorite hot beverage.