Over the past twenty years, two things have happened. The consumption of specialty and more eclectic coffees has increased and the awareness of what we are putting into our bodies has led us down the path of transparency. Consumers want to know how fresh, when and where there consumables are produced. They are also becoming more and more concerned with the pesticides used in farming and the use of G.M.O.’s, bringing a big swing towards the organic market. Aside from some of the reported statistics, lets take a look at some of the other benefits of fair trade organic coffee.
There are enough reports out now that substantiate the health benefits of drinking coffee. From being low in calories, to the alleged prevention of certain types of diabetes, liver disease and so on. Medical News Today gives you a good run down of some of the most positive medical aspects of drinking coffee. Please understand, Reggie’s Roast Coffee does not claim any of these findings as a reason to drink our coffee; we are merely pointing this out as matter of conversation in this article and as we discuss ingesting pesticides, to bear this in mind.
For starters, Organic Coffee is grown with only natural pesticides and fertilizers. As Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee farmers ourselves, we use natural fertilizers and only the minimum necessary pesticides to protect our crops as they are a very limited supply. However when taking a look at much larger crops such as those in Brazil, Colombia and the larger producing regions, there are chemicals used in pest control & fertilization. Coffee Habitat has put together a list with noted details if you would like specifics.
A sign warns of the dangers of some pesticides as they are applied in some fields.
Note the point that many chemicals banned in the US are still permitted in the countries that grow & produce coffee, as their standards are not as high. Even though the pesticides have NO PROVEN SIDE EFFECTS as they are used on coffee farms and consumed through roasted coffee, this is one of the main driving points of the benefits of Fair Trade Organic Coffee.
So you can clearly see why some consumers have chosen to go the Organic Coffee route. This trend comes from the global farming community regarding agriculture of all types as what’s going in to our bodies is being closely examined.
From a farming standpoint, Fair Trade is the best laid out business plan a coffee farmer can have. It sets a fair market price to help offset the ups and downs of the ever fluctuating coffee market. Fair Trade was enacted in 1980’s when the coffee prices were at their lowest and the market was flooded with coffee and no one was buying crops. The program’s foundations were laid in the 1960’s and later ratified in the Netherlands in the 80’s. Fair trade certification aimed to artificially raise coffee prices in order to ensure growers sufficient wages to turn a profit. The original name of the organization was “Max Havelaar“, after a fictional Dutch character who opposed the exploitation of coffee farmers by Dutch colonialists in the East Indies.
As of more recent reports, according to an article in the Huffington Post, Coffee farmers who are part of a Fair Trade Co-op are set to be paid an additional $.20 per pound and an additional $.30 per pound if they are certified Organic. This is on top of the set minimum price of $1.40. This is guaranteed per pound price even if the market goes below that set price. However, this does not guarantee the sale, as there are none in agriculture, but offers the farmers a financial hedge if the market drops. This protects the coffee farmers from being caught with no means to sell their coffee when demand declines and supply is in excess.
As coffee farmers first and foremost, Reggie’s Roast Coffee understands the struggles of coffee farming and how one bad year can wipe out a family’s means of support and we fully support The Fair Trade USA Organization – MIRE Enterprises #1159635 as a member. Being an organic farmer in Jamaica is a very challenging operation and would not allow us to share our coffee in the capacity which our customers to love. Although we specialize in our own Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee, we proudly offer a diverse selection of the World’s finest Arabicas ethically sourced and freshly roasted to order. As supporters of, and participants in the Fair Trade Organic movement, we also source and offer several freshly roasted Fair Trade Organic Coffees that are great examples of the benefits of Fair Trade Organic Coffee as well as a delicious cup!