So why have we chosen to sell Fairtrade coffee beans? Simply put, coffee is a valuable product, and there are 25 million coffee farmers in the world. Coffee is one of the most important sources of income in many developing countries such as Brazil, Vietnam, Colombia, Indonesia and Mexico, the world’s largest exporters of coffee.
Growing coffee is a labour-intensive process, and while for us a cup of coffee may last 20 minutes, the process of growing it has in some cases taken over four years. This is the sole source of income and livelihood for many people, and there’s great pride with producing such a high quality product. Fair trade equals fair pay for the work done, and not undercutting the farmers who have worked so hard to produce the coffee we care so much about here at eightpointnine.
However, there are some inherent problems in the Fairtrade system. For example, small farmers who own their land and do not belong to a cooperative cannot be certified as Fairtrade. This rules out a great many producers, some of which are producing an excellent product. Although the system isn’t perfect, it’s the best way we’ve found to be certain that our producers are being paid well for their countless hours of hard work.
If you’d like to read more, here is the Fairtrade website.