Posts filed under ‘Fair Trade Helps People’

Coffee Farmers in a bind again

HI Fair Trade friends, Liz here.  You may recall several years ago we posted about the problems in the coffee industry.  The coffee prices were reaching all time highs, and farmers were stepping out of their cooperatives into the markets by themselves.  Fair Traders were concerned that the prices would fall again and farmers would have no support.  Turns out – they were right. 

According to, ” The small scale farmers that make up the majority of global coffee production remember all too well the calamity of 2001 when prices plummeted to 45 cents a pound, throwing hundreds of thousands of farmers and landless workers into poverty or destitution.

You can read the full article here.  Remember, together we can make the world a better place!

More recently, in May 2011, the price of Arabica coffee on the New York futures market hit a 34-year high of almost US$3.09 per pound. But, as if to justify its volatile reputation, the coffee price has plummeted in 2013 to less than US$1.10 per pound – nearly 65 percent off the 2011 high (see the latest market price here).

The price collapse this year is particularly unwelcome for farmers in Central America, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru where leaf rusta fungal disease that destroys coffee trees also known as La Roya, has already wiped out up to 30-40 percent of the crop, according to the International Coffee Organization (ICO). “


November 5, 2013 at 3:41 pm Leave a comment

The Calendar Photos are Here!

Hi FT friends,

Liz here. I know, I know. Long time coming.  Well, things have been quite busy around here, and in case you didn’t hear there was a photo contest amongst Fair Trade companies for next years FTRN Calendar.  The winners were announced yesterday, and while I was hoping we’d win a coveted spot, we didn’t.  Good news though is that all the pictures are great!  You can see them all here!  In the meantime, here’s a few we submitted.

Lucuma Designs Dancing Knitters R300 IMG_7146
Lucuma Designs Knitter Mother Daughter Puno Peru R300 IMG_4891
Lucuma Designs Knitters R300 IMG_2101
Lucuma Designs Mom and Girl with Lolipop R300 IMG_7448

July 11, 2013 at 3:06 pm Leave a comment

How Collaboration Creates Fair Trade from Farm-to-Shelf

Hi Guys,

Liz here. I stumbled upon this series of posts on  Apparently they’re doing a 3-part series on Fair Trade. Very interesting if you ask me – it hits home.  Remember those food & fair trade posts some time back?  Well, this  one from February at least is geared along the same lines.  I think it does a good job painting the full picture.

The idea is that we often are so short-term focused that we cannot see how our actions are affecting the future.  The mentality happens everywhere.  Here’s a quote from the article.  See how real it is: “Look no further than the cocoa industry. For decades, cocoa farmers have not made enough money to feed their families. Most cocoa farmers don’t know what a chocolate bar looks like. They get a tiny tiny, tiny fraction of the value of that end product. If you can’t feed your family, and you can’t send your kids to school, do you think you’re going to invest in sustainable farming techniques or quality improvements or productivity improvements? Without these changes, its only a matter of time before there is a shortage of cocoa. So the industry has woken up to the fact that they have to invest in the people and the planet if they want to stay in business. And that’s why you see major cocoa companies saying, ‘You know what? We need to invest in certified cocoa.’”

Make sense?  Intense unmet needs often hinder us from seeing.

On a parallel note, someone here was recently asking how fair trade provided better education for workers’ children.  The article only touches on education and fair trade, but it makes a great point by connecting them together.  The answer is a bit complicated, but as mentioned above, part of this sustainability thing is getting everyone to be a little better off .  For many artisans, their livelihoods depend on their crops (this is called sustenance farming), and income from fair trade is income they otherwise wouldn’t have.  So sometimes, that extra income is what keeps kids from working and instead going to school.  Sometimes it’s what allows the family resources to send their kids to school (maybe money for transportation or supplies) or to a better school.  For most of the artists we work with, we continually hear that our artist partners use  income from our work to send their kids to better schools, sometimes even to university.  How can people pursue education when they don’t have money for food? for clothing? How can they prepare for the future when there is so much need in the present?

That’s what we hope to do. That’s what we strive to do.  To provide for the immediate and future needs of those families, those communities. To make the world a little more beautiful one fair trade product at a time.

You can read the full article at TriplePundit here. I hope you glean something from it.

And sorry guys, I feel like i couldn’t’ tie this post together as well as I would have liked. But I hope you take something good away from it!

April 29, 2013 at 1:31 pm Leave a comment

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