Here at Ubean Coffee, we purchase our beans from organic farmers. They also are fairtrade farmers.
Fair trade as a whole exists in order to improve the financial health of small farmers and small business people (often those who produce artisan goods) in developing countries across the globe.
As far as fair trade coffee goes, fair trade certification organizations (such as Fair Trade USA and Fair Trade Internationalfair trade) have been working for years to encourage small coffee farmers to collaborate and band with other small coffee farmers to form co-ops, thus allowing them to take advantage of economy of scale as they pool their financial resources together to buy supplies and negotiate better bean sales prices as a group, which means each farmer more than likely will receive more for his beans than he would have if he negotiated alone.
In addition, fair trade certification means that buyers commit to a contract that mandates a minimum base price (one that’s always above the current commodity rate).
As far as how the farmer grows and processes his beans, in order to participate in the fair trade agreement, the farmer group must prove that its growing and processes follow a set of guidelines. These guidelines include no child labor, ecologically responsible farming and acceptable working conditions. (Note: ecologically responsible farming doesn’t require that the coffee farms grow their beans via organic means, although many do.)
We purchase our organic coffee beans from fair trade certified farmers because we feel that the growers deserve to receive a fair price for their considerable labor. If you’d like to try the fruits of their labor yourself, contact one of our independent Ubean Coffee distributors to purchase some. (And then be sure to let us know what you think!)