What Does "Fair Trade" Really Mean?


By: Beth Garrison, CEO

Here at Operant Coffee, in our partnership with the Philly Fair Trade Roasters, all of our blends are "Fair Trade Certified."  As I started my coffee journey, I delved in to some research to really figure out what this means.  Here is what I found from the national body that certifies goods as "Fair Trade," www.fairtradecertified.org

1) Income

The goal is for everyone to be able to make a decent wage.  In "Fair Trade" products, farmers, those who fish, and producers are paid the amount of money in their country of origin that would enable them to provide for their families, and be able to invest in their businesses.  

2) Community Support

Fair Trade Co-ops typically provide community support to their farmers and producers.  They support clean water, environmental, healthcare and educational initiatives in developing countries.  With these co-ops, farmers and producers now have a voice in their community.  Fair Trade requirements also require farmers and producers to come up with innovative methods to support their crops with environmentally friendly practices (see, this article on how coffee farmers in Guatemala fought the coffee rust outbreak in 2013-2014)

Operant Coffee is proud to support "Fair Trade" in our coffee blends.  The "Fair Trade" movement started with coffee.  Now it is spreading to other goods and services.  In the coming weeks, we will explore how Behavior Analytic principles can help "Save the World" in support of these practices.

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