The Benefits of Organic and Fair Trade Coffee
Helping more than yourself when making your next organic coffee purchase.
Not all organic products are fair trade, and not all fair trade products are organic; however the two often go hand in hand. By knowing the benefits of each, it is not hard to see why. Organic and fair trade products have grown in popularity thanks to the increase of the public’s interest on topics of personal health, environmental concerns and global economic issues.
What Determines Organic:
In order for a company to bring organic coffee to market, they must meet specific standards and guidelines set by the National Organic Program. According to the USDA website, the NOP also “...accredits the certifying agents who inspect organic production and handling operations.” Such standards, which are imposed, require that the production of products must be free of pesticides, fertilizers, and of course contaminants in the water and soil. Once an organization or company is able to prove to these agents their adherence to these guidelines, their qualifying products can be labeled certified organic.
What Determines Fair Trade:
The Fair Trade Federation is a trade association which promotes the fair trade principles to companies in Northern America. The purpose of fair trade is to provide farmers a guaranteed “fair” price for their products. Not only does fair trade pay the farmers decent wages, but it also requires the farmers to meet specific standards set by the Fair Trade Federation. For example, proper work and safety regulations would be enforced, thereby providing a safe working environment. By paying proper pricing for the products, farmers have the means to invest in better equipment and machinery. They also are able to pay their workers proper wages, who are then able to provide more adequately for their families.
The Benefits of Organic and Fair Trade Coffee:
By switching to organic and fair trade coffee you will help the farmers get their deserved share of profits and reduce personal and environmental exposure to toxins and other damaging elements. Here are some additional benefits:
• Farmer benefits - Farmers will get the fair share of the profit they deserve, thus allowing them more money to pay higher wages which in turn promote a better economy and standard of living.
• Local economies benefits - Economic conditions will improve significantly by improving the standards of living in poverty stricken areas. Workers who once worked without sustainable wages are now guaranteed fair wages and provide proper food and housing for their families.
• Consumer benefits - The coffee will have a faster way of reaching the consumers since it will avoid brokers. This results in a more economical price as well.
• Health benefits - Organic coffee is healthier compared to non-organic coffee because it does not contain any toxins or chemical leftovers which are often found in products which use pesticides and non organic fertilizers.
• Environmental benefits - Since no synthetic fertilizers or pesticides have been used for growth of the coffee plants and coffee production, the environment will not be hurt by the production.
From the American brewing their organic coffee each morning, to the Italian using their Italian espresso makers, to the coffee roaster in France, to the coffee shop in your own neighborhood - opportunities to promote fair trade and organic products are all around us. Understanding the positive aspects of organic and fair trade practices will hopefully encourage you to buy organic and fair trade when you have the opportunity. As is typical with many organic and fair trade products, not only will the quality of your product be greater, but so will be your satisfaction knowing you have contributed to the betterment of many hard workers and laborers around the world.
This article was contributed by www.simpleitaliancooking.com a website featuring easy Italian family recipes and authentic Italian pasta bowls.