There is a silent emergency in the world of coffee. It’s not an earthquake; it’s not a typhoon like the recent and horrific tragedy in the Philippines. This beast makes far less noise, and is almost invisible. Its effects will run deep for generations to come, beginning with the quick onset of chronic hunger, kids being pulled from school to work in the field, and a burgeoning question of whether or not it’s still viable to grow the world’s coffee.
Believing that fair trade should be available beyond cooperatives, Fair Trade USA has created a pilot program for independent small-farmers and large estates. The objective of the two-year pilot is to evaluate whether current fair trade principles can be effective in non-cooperative farms. By Ann-Marie Hardie
In general, coffee pickers, migrant workers and farmworkers are the most vulnerable groups involved in coffee production. Moreover, they have traditionally not been included in the coffee industry’s sustainability efforts.