When we purchase a coffee from a shop, 99% of the time we have no idea where the beans in our coffee are from, how they were grown, or what roast level they are. The more that you learn about the coffee, the more you become aware of the importance of these things, and how they can affect the taste and aroma of your drink.
Since most of us are focused on taste and smell, we don't often think about the production and harvesting process of beans, even though perhaps we should give it more though. But hey, so long as your coffee tastes great, everything else doesn't matter, right? Well, this thought process is actually going out of fashion, and it's now more important than it was in the past to know where exactly your drink has come from.
Of course, the taste is still as important as ever when it comes to coffee. Coffee is popular precisely because of its incredible flavors and aromas. But with homemade coffee on the rise, more of us are purchasing our own products at home. This means that we can see exactly where our coffee has originated from and how it has been grown, which opens our eyes to the world of trade.
The majority of people want to make ethical purchases, but it can be hard to know which products are made ethically and which are not. Thankfully, in the world of coffee, there is one clear way to tell if something has been created to meet high-quality trading standards and that is whether it is fair trade or not.
Fair trade coffee is by no means a new concept and has been around for several years. However, many people are still unaware as to what this term fully entails, and whether fair trade products are worth buying. Since the world of sustainable coffee is quite a complicated one, it's important to learn more about this aspect of the coffee world to ensure that you can make fully informed decisions when purchasing your products.
What Is Fair Trade Coffee?
Fair trade is a movement that has been designed to help producers in multiple trades, benefit from better trade relationships. Too often, producers in developing countries and nations work in difficult conditions and don't get a sufficient amount of money for their efforts. They'll instead receive unfair prices, that don't enable them to improve their lives.
Fair trade isn't just about coffee - there are many other industries that take part in this arrangement. However, coffee makes up a large proportion of this movement. If you purchase coffee that has been traded in a conventional manner, then it's likely that the farmers who harvested them have been paid a very low price for their work.
To ensure that farmers receive fair compensation for their coffee, they add higher export prices which ensure they get a fair return on their products. This allows them to have decent working conditions and ensures that they can continue to create sustainable products and live sustainably in their local communities.
So, if you buy a bag of fair trade beans, then you'll know that you're purchasing something that has been cultivated in good working conditions. The farmers have been fairly compensated and what you are buying is a sustainable product, which is better for the world and helps to contribute towards creating a fairer economy.
Coffee bean harvesting can be incredibly difficult work, since most coffee is grown in Latin America, Africa, and Asia. Countries on these continents can experience extremely temperamental climates. This means that farming is a physically demanding job, and production is enormous since every single country in the world demands a lot of coffee every day. With all of this in mind, it is only fair to ensure that these farmers have good working conditions.
You may wonder, how fair trade coffee helps to create a fairer economy. Regular trade often capitalizes on the disadvantaged position of developing countries and pays next to nothing for a product that will then retail in the USA for a lot of money. This is not a just way to practice trading and badly affects everyone in the world.
When you purchase fair trade certified coffee, your money isn't just going into the pockets of the brand you buy from, but also to the workers who picked each bean in your packet. This is because it promotes more of direct trading, that benefits the farmer who has produced the coffee.
So, to sum it up, fair trade is essentially a way to ensure that the people who provide us with our coffee are given a good price for their product. It's definitely a more ethical choice and promotes sustainable trade, creating links of transparency between trading nations around the world.
Where Does Fair Trade Coffee Come From?
As we all know, coffee beans need specific conditions in order to grow well. Certain places around the world are perfect for coffee production since they provide a variety of landscapes that are needed to cultivate these beans.
A different type of bean will need different conditions. The arabica bean needs high levels of altitude and well defined seasons since it often grows better during milder climates. The robusta variety can grow in low altitudes and in warm conditions. For this reason, there are many places around the world that produce coffee.
Fairly traded coffee comes from countries in Central and South America, Africa, and Asia. The majority of fair trade coffee is grown in Nicaragua, Colombia, Kenya, and South India, since they optimal weather conditions to grow this special product. However, all of these countries have poverty issues and economical problems. This means they often work harder to produce coffee, so it is imperative that they receive a fair price for their labor.
Within each of these countries, will be certified farms where the coffee bean is grown. Each farm will have different conditions, and some are located on mountains for altitude reasons, whereas others make use of leafy trees for shade-grown beans. A lot of fair trade coffee is produced by small farmers, who rely on intense manual labor from their workers in order to harvest and produce large amounts of coffee.
The fair trade movement aims to help these independent coffee farmers, who often lack special equipment which can help fasten the process of harvesting coffee. For this reason, it is imperative that the fair trade scheme exists since it allows these farmers to continue working in the way they wish to, and allows them to give their workers a fair salary thanks to direct trade.
As well as this, fair trade coffee is often also organic. This is because smaller farms use more natural products and substances in their soil, and will use more sustainable materials. This can affect the quality of the product, and for some people makes it taste even better. So, if you want to buy organic coffee, you should look at fairly produced products, since the two often go together hand in hand.
When you buy a fair trade product, you'll know it comes from a fair trade certified farm based in a developing country. Your purchase is most probably supporting a small farmer and enabling him to take part in more direct trade whilst continuing to work in decent conditions and ultimately produce high-quality coffee.
Is Fair Trade More Expensive?
A lot of people buy something based on how much it costs. Let's face it, we all want to find the best deal, and we often don't want to spend a lot of money on something that we have never tried before. For this reason, some people are put off from buying fair trade since they can often come with a higher price tag.
The reason why coffee that is fair trade, is more expensive is due to the direct trade agreement. This means that coffee farmers get a set, standardized price for their beans. This ensures that farmers are not cheated out of money for their work, and it encourages them to break away from the cycle of poverty that many farmers experience, and live and work sustainably.
Since brands and corporations pay more for fair trade produce, they have to mark up the sale price in order to profit from it. This is why a bag of fair trade organic coffee might cost twice as much as a bag that has gone through the regular trade procedures.
Although it is annoying to have to pay more just because a product is certified, it ultimately benefits the farmers who are working tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure that we can all enjoy our cups of joe. You're not necessarily paying for a gourmet taste experience when you shop fair trade, but you are contributing towards the better living and future of real-life people. You'll be able to enjoy your cup of coffee a lot more knowing that you have made an ethical purchase that is benefitting the lives of others.
Of course, not everyone can afford to constantly buy fair trade. So, if this is the case, but you still want to support coffee bean farmers, then you can search for other brands that work closely with farms to ensure that the workers are retributed fairly. There are dozens of brands that focus on sustainability and ethically sourced produce, with Chamberlain Coffee being one of them. You just need to browse the market to find these special companies, and then you can start to shop more responsibly.
Does Fair Trade Coffee Taste Better Than Regular Products?
When you buy fair trade certified coffee, you'll know that the price of the product is guaranteed by the buyer. However, what isn't always guaranteed is the taste. As you know, most fair trade coffee is also organic due to the way it is produced. But does this mean that it will definitely taste better?
A lot of people ascertain that organic equals better quality and a more intense flavor. Since fair trade farmers often make use of natural additives in soil and stay away from artificial ingredients, this can often guarantee us that the overall quality will be better. The way that a coffee bean is grown will have an effect on the final aroma and tasting notes, so many people claim that fair trade organic coffee is exponentially tastier than other brands.
However, the taste of coffee is often affected more by the roasting process since this is when different flavors are brought to the forefront. Fair trade coffee comes in many different roast levels. If you want an acidic, caffeinated kick in the morning then you can find ethically sourced, lightly roasted coffee. Likewise, if you want a strong and bitter espresso to start your day, you'll have no problem finding a dark roasted, organic blend.
The great thing about fairly traded certified coffee is that you can still find all of those beautiful flavor notes and smells that you'd get in other products. With that being said, those products that aren't fair trade organic still taste fantastic, and you often won't notice the difference.
One thing to keep in mind with fair trade coffees is that since the farmers are guaranteed a set price, no matter the condition, this means that the coffee beans can come in any quality grade. This isn't to say that all fair trade coffees are bad quality, but it does suggest that some fair trade organic products might not be as delicious as specialty or gourmet coffee.
Of course, coffee is coffee, and it is difficult to find a product that is completely awful. But if you want to make sure that your cup of joe tastes as fresh and as delicious as possible, then you need to carefully read the packaging before purchasing anything. Within the world of fair trade, there are varying degrees of quality, just like with commodity brands. By doing a little bit of research on the production of coffee you can work out whether a product is going to satisfy your taste buds the way you wish it to.
Overall it is hard to say if fair trade coffee tastes better. Your best bet is to try a product or two to see if you notice a taste difference. Remember there are hundreds of fair trade coffee brands, so if you don't like one, that doesn't mean you won't find another that is perfect for you!
What Brands of Coffee Are Fair Trade?
If you want to buy coffee from certified brands, then it's easy enough to spot them. Every fairly traded product, be it coffee, tea, bananas, or even makeup has the famous fair trade sticker on its packaging so that you can recognize it from far away. In grocery stores across the world, you'll find numerous brands that take part in this direct trade program, which makes it easy for you to try new coffees.
However, if you want to support this movement but you're a fan of coffee chains, you'll need to do some research. Many shops, cafes, bars, and restaurants buy their coffee from certified fair trade farmers, but it's not always obvious. Most places will advertise if they are taking part in this scheme and supporting it, whereas others might not make it as clear.
Places like Starbucks buy fair trade products, and this is why their coffee can come at a high price. Since the coffee farmers are paid a higher price for their trade, this means that many companies need to raise their instore prices on products to ensure that they make a profit. This is why you'll find that many fair trade products are more expensive than others.
If you are keen to support this movement and start shopping in a more sustainable and ethical way, then search for brands that have the fair trade organic sticker on their packaging. By supporting brands that take part in this direct trade movement, you'll be helping farmers in places such as Latin America, and ensuring that they get a fair price and can continue to produce sustainable products.
Chamberlain Coffee and Sustainability
At Chamberlain Coffee we prioritize two major things. The first is creating great-tasting products that all of our customers will love. The second is ensuring that everything we use in our packaging and coffee is 100% eco-friendly.
We believe that sustainability is of the utmost importance in regard to helping our planet and the communities that live here. We want to help improve the planet and environment, and the first step towards doing that is ensuring that our coffee packaging and bags are fully compostable.
As well as this, we handpick the best quality beans from certified coffee farmers to ensure that they have grown and been harvested in the best possible conditions. We strive to work with coffee farmers who work towards sustainability like us and have good working procedures and conditions. All of this together helps us to move towards a better future for our planet.
As we create new products at Chamberlain Coffee, we are constantly thinking of new ways to make sure that our coffee is meeting the highest trade standards, and follow fair guidelines. Search our product list to see which coffees have been made under these conditions and to check out the delicious flavors and roasts that we sell.
As well as this make sure to sign up to our newsletter with your email address. This way, you'll be able to stay up to date with our new releases, restocks, and receive extra information on what we are doing to help the global community. As well as this you'll be first in line to see special behind the scenes videos and photos and receive extra information from Emma herself.