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Fair Trade Coffee

Coffee and Fair Trade

Fair trade coffee, or equal exchange coffee, is coffee that is traded by bypassing the coffee trader and therefore giving the producer (and buyer) higher profits.  Fair trade certified coffee does not necessarily mean that the extra money trickles down to coffee farmers.

Economics of Fair Trade Coffee

TransFair USA is an independent 3rd party certification that ensures that:

  • Coffee importers agree to purchase from the small farmers included in the International Fair Trade Coffee Register.

  • Fair trade coffee growers are guaranteed a minimum "fair trade price" of $1.26/pound FOB for their coffee. If world coffee price rises above this floor price, fair trade coffee farmers will be paid a small ($0.05/pound) premium above market price.

  • Coffee importers provide a certain amount of credit to farmers against future sales, helping farmers stay out of debt to local coffee "coyotes" or middlemen.

  • Coffee importers and roasters agree to develop direct, long-term trade relationships with fair trade coffee distributors, thereby cutting out middlemen and bringing greater commercial stability to an extremely unstable market.

(Source: FairtradeUSA)


For more information on fairly traded coffee, fair trade coffee statistics, fair trade coffee news, visit the following sites:

Global Exchange - an agency that promotes and educates consumers about Fair Trade coffees.

Equal Exchange is a company that deals only with fair trade coffees. 


To locate a certified fair trade coffee roaster, visit TransFair USA.


For an article about Starbucks and organic fair trade coffee, click here.


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