Tea and coffee are collected from many nations, some more developed than others, and for a while trading for them involved unfair practices. Various products could be purchased for much less than they are worth which created a dangerous trade related situations. Luckily, there are many companies today who are happy to be a part of the fair trade movement.
Companies involved in trade policies like these proudly advertise the fact; companies that include The Green Salmon, Blue Smoke Coffee, Starbucks and more join the list every day, including exporters and importers as well. Plus, there’s Fair Trade USA and companies of that sort that are monitoring trade conditions and ensuring that everyone involved is represented and treated fairly.
The problem is that coffee and tea are in extremely high demand, and with demand issues arise. Think about it, nearly everyone you know indulges in one of these beverages, often as much as once or twice a day (or more). Tea and coffee are made from natural ingredients found all over the world including Italy, Asia, Colombia and Tibet and many of the nations have different trade regulations. With the varied exchange rates, the deals that get struck can be unfair.
Fair trade coffee/tea is certified as having been grown and marketed under a specified set of standards. Most coffee and tea drinkers today are helping by being willing to pay more if the coffee or tea they purchase carries the brand or certification logo of fair trade because they welcome the chance to help farmers in third world countries, helping them get a fair price and avoid low pay labor exploitation.
If you’d like to get involved there are many organizations that you can support with donations and by volunteering. The most important thing you can do is simply buy coffee and tea from companies that support policies that are fair. Supporting the right companies will help pave the way for the future of trade policies, plus you’ll be getting delicious coffee and tea varieties while feeling good about supporting fair trade and helping to change the world for the better in a big way, where before laborer’s worked under oppressive conditions for limited pay.