A Better Coffee:
Developing Economic Fairness
Julia Alvarez’s moving Cafecito Story is happily not just a story;
it is now the living reality of half a million family coffee farmers around
the world. These farmers and their partners in the marketplace--people that
include Carmen, Miguel, Joe, and you, yourself--have turned decades of hard
work and dreams into a powerful international movement called fair trade.
Fair trade is about transforming the growing and drinking of coffee.
Fair trade is effcient and profitable trade organized with a built-in commitment
to equity, dignity, respect, and mutual aid. Fair trade guarantees farmers like
Carmen and Miguel
- direct sales for their cooperatives,
- a fair price, regardless of international market prices,
- improved access to credit,
- a long-term marketing relationship, and
- a commitment from buyers to support environmental sustainability.
We all want to end the human misery we hear about daily, but many of us find
it hard to figure out what we can do personally. Fair trade helps us make a
difference. It is a concrete step toward positive change. Buying fair-trade
coffee gives you a delicious cafecito and the deeper satisfaction
of knowing that you have helped farmers invest in health care, education, environmental
stewardship, and economic independence.
And fair trade ensures that farmers earn a living wage so they can have the
stability to provide a better future for themselves and their children. Helping
farmers cultivate the courage to pursue their dreams helps us nurture the courage
to pursue our own. Now isn’t that a fair trade?