April 11, 2011

Coffee Prices High; Fair Trade Price Going Higher

The Fair Trade coffee program seeks to pay farmers a rate that allows for sustainable growth of coffee and thus economic growth of their communities. Coffee prices have recently floated at historically high levels, and with this as a backdrop, the Fair Trade organization is piling on a bit more.

Foodnavigator recently posted that the Fair Trade International group is raising the premium on coffee paid above the market rates. With prices at 14 year highs, it would seem like farmers are getting enough, but Fair Trade International contends that we are at near all time highs because we haven't invested enough in coffee farming across several years, and that this lack of investment has caught the supply side off balance. Recent weather issues, have cut supplies, exacerbating the issue. With more investment, comes more high quality supply.

So with oil at $100+ a barrel, I guess I can handle the modest increases in a cup of coffee. Fair Trade International is only requiring a modest $0.10 increase per pound for Fair Trade Certified regular coffee and an increase of the "Organic Differential" from $0.20 to $0.30 per pound. The modest difference will hardly be noticed by me, but should make a difference in the local coffee growing communities. I don't predict any sit-in protests in the suburban Starbucks locations over this one.

Via Treehugger

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Posted by Scott Martin at April 11, 2011 7:18 AM
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