We believe an ethical coffee should simply be sustainable beyond fairtrade. We support small coffee growers so that their coffee production process can continue be organic, fair-trade and environmentally friendly while allowing them to have a decent source of income, independently of commodity traders’ screens in NY or London. If this process can be repeated then it becomes sustainable beyond fairtrade.
remember going to markets in small villages in the mountains of Colombia. On Sundays families bring their produce to sell it down in the nearest village. They bring their Arabica coffees in rustic sacks. Arabica coffee trees need shade so farmers plant also bananas, mangos, avocados, oranges, etc. Thus farmers can also bring other products to sell and become less exposed to the volatility of international coffee prices, but also the fact that they are small coffee producers gives them more time to care for their coffee trees almost one by one. In small plantations they tend to use less aggressive pesticides in order not to affect other plants. The production in their small farms becomes more environmentally friendly and organic, and by selling their products they are able to participate in the broader economy. What I saw was a beautiful process and if this process can be repeated then it becomes sustainable.
By supporting these communities we are working beyond fairtrade as we see the process as a whole. An ethical coffee should spark conversations between the producers and the consumers without big marketing campaigns, without being blended from different countries or packaged and roasted in third countries because of economies of scale. We are trying to bring the producers into the value chain so that they can earn dignified wages and benefits according to the direct demand from consumers in the UK.
It does not make sense that the UK coffee market is worth ₤5.8bn, and the demand for gourmet coffees is huge while coffee farmers in Colombia struggle to cover productions costs.
By drinking ethical coffee we can help change lives. Join the debate and get free single origin coffees from us: here!