Coffee

It’s how millions of us start our day, and a companion to countless conversations. An estimated 1.6 billion cups of coffee are brewed every single day. Worldwide, over 125 million people depend on coffee for their livelihoods, yet many are unable to earn a reliable living from this beloved and valuable crop.

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Salmiah picking coffee cherries at the Koperasi Baithul Qiradh Baburrayyan (KBQB) cooperative, Indonesia
Image © Nathalie Bertrams

Around the world, 25 million smallholders produce 70-80 percent of the world’s coffee, which is one of the reasons why Fairtrade focuses its efforts on small producer organizations.

Choosing Fairtrade coffee makes a difference

Despite the popularity of their product, coffee farmers face a number of challenges which Fairtrade is working to address.

  • For various reasons, the global price of coffee is highly volatile. Fairtrade aims to give farmers stability in this unpredictable environment by offering a Fairtrade Minimum Price, which protects them from sudden price drops. Organically grown coffee receives an additional price incentive.

  • Coffee farmers also receive a Fairtrade Premium – an extra sum of money paid on top of the selling price that farmers and workers invest in business or community projects of their choice. A set portion of the Fairtrade Premium goes toward improving production or quality.

  • By supporting smallholder farmers to organize themselves into small producer organizations – such as cooperatives and associations – farmers can negotiate better terms of trade and reach wider markets.

When you choose Fairtrade coffee, farmers can build a better quality of life for their families and communities. Your purchase also supports them to invest in growing better quality beans and confronting challenges like the effects of climate change. It’s win-win.

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Rice farmers used some Fairtrade Premium funds to make a sewing and craft centre for women, to supplement their income.
Image © Didier Gentilhomme

Fairtrade premium

The Fairtrade Premium is an extra sum of money paid on top of the selling price that farmers or workers invest in projects of their choice.

They decide together and democratically how to spend the Fairtrade Premium to reach their goals, such as improving their farming, businesses, or health and education in their community. Farmers and workers know best what their priorities and needs are.

Since 2014, Fairtrade farmers and workers have received well over half a billion euros in Fairtrade Premium.

This is a unique benefit enabled by your decision to buy Fairtrade products.

Looking for Fairtrade Products?

Fairtrade products are widely available. The blue countries and territories on the map below have Fairtrade organizations that promote Fairtrade products. Their websites often include a product finder to show you the full variety of Fairtrade products near you. Even if there isn't a Fairtrade organization where you live, Fairtrade products may still be available – look for our familiar marks on products!