Fair-Trade Coffee Essay

405 Words2 Pages
Realities of Fair-trade Coffee According to Mercatus Center, fair trade may not improve famers’ life, but harm interests of them. Fair trade is a system of exporting and consuming crops or goods produced in developing countries at an equal price. Fair-trade coffee was expected to make profit for both coffee companies and farmers, and to be praised its morality by consumers. Certainly, companies made big profits, but how about coffee farmers or consumers? In fact, the actual condition of them is miserable. Farmers are suffering from low wage, lack motivation, and consumers have no interests. Firstly, subsistence wages are the most serious problem for famers. They can get only a little money despite fair trade. According to FLO-CERT, their payment is 1.26 dollars per pound at the lowest, which is 10 percent higher than the market price. However it is not enough to make a living. This is because farmers need to pay fees for fair trade, such as Application Fee, and Initial Certification Fee. Moreover, even their children are obliged to work. This means farmers are so poor that they cannot live without their children’s working. Their income should be raised to improve their life. Secondly, farmers are not enthusiastic with growing better coffee. Because their income fair trade brings is surprisingly small, it is natural that they lack motivation and the coffee is inferior in quality. Some coffee lovers claim that fair-trade coffee is not even worth drinking. What consumers want is coffee which is satisfactory price and taste, but fair-trade coffee cannot satisfy them. In order to motivate farmers and improve in quality, raising wages and providing technical assistance is needed. Thirdly, unconcern of consumers for fair trade is severe problem. It seems that the number of consumers who have interest in fair trade is still small. Actually, the sales of fair-trade coffee

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