The British have long been known (and stereotyped) for their love of tea. But that might have moved over slightly, as coffee is becoming more and more popular. The whole concept of fairtrade organic coffee opportunities works because people love their hot drinks. Fair trade works similarly, although not just with coffee. In principle, workers involved in a fair trade organic coffee cooperative will receive more money and better conditions.
Is Fairtrade Better?
The quality of Fairtrade coffee isn’t necessarily going to taste any better than a cheaper product. Taste is always a bit of a personal choice, and you might prefer a cheaper alternative. That said, all Fairtrade products are organic, which means that the farming needs to be more intensive to get the best bean yield possible.
Coffee franchise opportunities and cafes want to provide you with the best coffee available for a reasonable price, so while they won’t all use fair trade products, you know you’ll be getting a great cup.
Is It Fair?
Fair trade has been damned and praised in relatively equal measure. It works; it doesn’t work. Workers are underpaid; workers are paid well.
With so many polarised views should we trust anything?! Fair trade is a fantastic concept. It allows natural growth by ensuring that farmers have enough money to cover costs, and workers get paid a reasonable amount for their products. It prevents a sweatshop mentality. And it’s becoming increasingly popular.
Rise in Cooperatives
There is a year on year increase in the number of Fairtrade cooperatives, as well as the products sold. Of all the coffee sold in the UK (including sales from cafes and coffee franchise opportunities), a whopping 25% is now Fairtrade.
Pretty staggering considering it wasn’t all that long ago that Fairtrade or organic produce was a bit of a hippy subculture phenomenon. It has now been incorporated into the mainstream and has become the mark of the elite.
Fair trade is, without question, one of the best marketing coups ever. There is a huge markup on the beans from the off, partially due to the higher costs of producing organic fairtrade coffee, and partly because the workers are paid a higher wage. There is also a higher profit margin.
Fair trade is non-profit; they provide a service which is beneficial for everyone involved. The workers get paid better; the coffee is produced to a higher standard, and consumers feel like they’re doing their bit.