Coffee is how millions of us start our day and an estimated 1.6 billion cups of coffee are brewed every single day. Coffee is the most valuable and widely traded tropical agricultural product witharound 125 million people globally depend on it for their livelihoods. 80% of the world’s coffee is grown by small-scale farmers, many of whom struggle to earn a reliable living as a result of price volatility. The price of coffee changes every three minutes on average due to-weather events in a producing country,Fluctuations in currency valuations or Basic dynamics of supply and demand.
While the global coffee industry now generates more than $200 billion per year, the average farmer’s income has not changed in the past 20 years or has actually declined when taking into account higher farming costs. Farmers unable to meet their basic costs of production can’t invest in the necessary farm renovations or meticulous processing methods that can ensure a consistent supply of quality coffee, which further hurts their sales. Further, coffee farmers across the world including in India are facing heightened risks and reduced income due to the effects of climate change. This cycle of poverty is driving away both present and future generations of coffee farmers, a dynamic we need to address if coffee is to survive as a viable business.
Fairtrade works with coffee farmers who’ve formed small producer organisations. As per the Fairtrade Standards, these farmer organisations create a local support mechanism that facilitate:
Access to markets
Access to finance
Better resource management
Better risk management