World Fair Trade Day
Saturday, May 9th is World Fair Trade Day, a celebration of Fair Trade movement's effort to fight poverty, exploitation, and climate change.
Coffee has a long and sorry history of giving farmers the short end of the stick when it comes to who gets paid and how much. When prices go up, often vast networks of middlemen receive the majority of profit before it reaches the farmers. The Fair Trade Movement was started to help right this wrong. Within coffee, organizations have formed to collectivize farmers and create a guaranteed "fair price" or floor price for their coffee. This ensures that those putting in the work to grow and cultivate coffee are rewarded for their efforts, rather than taken advantage of.
We believe that Fair Trade is especially important when it comes to organics as the labor and cost involved in producing certified organic coffee, as well as the risk, is so much higher.
At Groundwork, we take Fair Trade one step further, something we call "direct trade or "relationship coffee." While Fair Trade has done wonderful things to ensure farmers are getting their fair share, it does little to promote a rise in quality of the coffee or sustainable growing practices since the price remains the same. With direct trade, we work directly with the farmers to help them meet higher standards for coffee quality in exchange for a premium price.
This system has created long and fruitful relationships with a number of coffee farms and coops around the world.