Slavery: Fair Trade Coffee Essay

Submitted By crtrejo
Words: 1573
Pages: 7

Casey Trejo
Professor Kanu
Contemporary Slavery
1 March 2014
The trading system that the whole world navigates proves to be one that is very complex with rules and regulations set upon the process. Workers, management, and people need to follow policies so that their businesses and corporations do not get put under scrutiny and investigated. Fair trade is a movement that is aimed to support producers to make better trading conditions and financial support in developing countries. The fair Trade is needed because around the world there are countries whose workers are being pushed to their own limits just so the companies can get as much work out of them to make a dollar. The massive coffee industry proves to have its up and downs while trying to abide by the Fair Trade policies. Many people do not know what exactly fair trade is and it is important that the world starts to get a grasp on it. Fair trade is a trading partnership that is based on dialogue, transparency and respect which seeks fairness in the international trade. It works towards making better working conditions, better source of pay, and for securing the rights of people who are working under these companies. There are multiple campaigns that are being held to raise the awareness for changes in the rules and practice for conventional international trade. Looking past the whole trading sense of it, fair trade is really looking for the greater justice in the world and more of a practice in conventional trade. This movement can be recognized by the WFTO logo. To be certified as Fairtrade farmers bring upon a wide range of costs in achieving Fair Trade. A farmer can only recover costs on the small part of their production that they can sell as fair trade certified. For example, since there is not enough demand to take all certified coffee produced, some has to be sold as uncertified. Also coffee farmers have to meet standards on production.
There are limits on the use of child labor, pesticides, herbicides and GMO crops. Farmers have to start hiring labor instead of just using their own families and not paying any money at all. Fair Trade coffee is still a small portion of the market, but is the most popular fair trade commodity in the world. The following is an excerpt from the Organic Consumers Organization that defines the criteria for certification:
FLO maintains a Coffee Producers Registry that is open to associations of small farmers as detailed above. FLO maintains field monitors in countries and regions of origin, and makes annual visits to ensure producer compliance with the Fair Trade criteria. The majority of cooperatives fulfill or surpass the requirements of FLO's criteria wholeheartedly. If producer cooperatives are found not in compliance, they can be put on probation for a period to allow for improvement, and in rare cases, dismissed from the list for serious violations.
Importers and Roasters
In the U.S., coffee importers and roasters must sign a licensing agreement with TransFair USA in order to sell Fair Trade Certified coffee using TransFair's trademarked seal on their products. TransFair's Monitoring Department handles the US side of the coffee trail by monitoring licensee paperwork, including sales receipts and tracking numbers. Roasters must pay a licensing fee of 10 cents per pound to TransFair to ensure the sustainability of the system, and to ensure that costs for certification are born in the North rather than by the farmers.”
The coffee industry proves to be one of the biggest global industries that is running throughout the world today. “Coffee exporting alone is a $20 billion dollar industry, mostly consumed by industrialized nations while being produced by the world's underclass”(Goldschein). With just coming second to oil, coffee is worth 100 billion dollars worldwide and is ahead of things like natural gas, gold, oil and corn. These coffee farms that are seen throughout Asia,