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Fair Trade and Green Agriculture in Coffee

Sustainability isn't just about taking care of our planet, it's about making ethical and responsible choices for communities. Most of the world's coffee farms are located in isolated and remote areas where access to basic needs such as education, housing and health is difficult. The high costs of purchasing tools or shipping the harvest mean volatile coffee prices can hurt farmers' livelihoods. By partnering with 'fair trade' brands, farmers charge a higher price for their crops, ensuring production costs are covered and protecting them when the market price drops. Fair trade also eliminates the middleman, so farmers deal directly with retailers and roasters. These extra earnings can then go into health and education programs for workers, improve education and support environmental protection. Unfortunately, many countries do not currently support a national living wage. However, fair trade cooperatives are working to make sure that changes so that agricultural workers can have a better standard of living.

Adding complexity to “fair trade” is the difficulty that sometimes fair trade does not mean fair pay. We work closely with our roasting partners to understand where coffee comes from and how they ensure it is sustainable end-to-end. We hope to visit some coffee farms next year to see and understand the challenges for ourselves and make changes accordingly.


As coffee consumption increases every year, the demand for production also increases. While this poses a major challenge to sustainability, the development and use of new farming techniques means that demand can be met without compromising environmental and ethical practices. Rather than expanding farms through deforestation and habitat destruction, new research is constantly improving farming practices. Innovative ideas such as developing drought-tolerant coffee plants for water-scarce regions or reusing coffee pods to heat trees instead of cutting them down are crucial to long-term sustainability.

Many coffee farms have also adopted diversification as a strategy where other crops are grown alongside coffee. This not only provides an extra source of income for farmers, but also helps support biodiversity in the coffee-growing region and allows natural wildlife communities to thrive.


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