What we like about fair trade claims (and will consider keeping while developing our own model):
  • Long-term direct trading relationships
  • Workers' rights to non-discrimination
  • Gender equity
  • Environmental sustainability
  • Investment in community development projects
  • Raises the price for coffee which otherwise would not support the farmer
What we actually like about fair trade
  • Brings light to important issue
  • Offers another option to current market system (even if it's not perfect)
What we don't like about fair trade (and will work towards changing/improving for our own model):
  • Fair Trade Certification has emphasis on co-ops, which discriminates against small farmers who are wary of getting involved with one
  • Growing bond between fair-trade coffee and multi-conglomerate corporations
  • Too many fair trade dollars wind up in the pockets of retailers and middlemen, including nonprofit organizations
  • Artificially inflate prices above the market value without addressing the issue of oversupply
  • Lack of Transparency as Fair Trade certification organizations grow
  • Quality of Fair Trade coffee is uneven
    • Encourages farmers to sell all coffee regardless of quality at the Fair Trade price
  • The model benefits the farmer rather than any laborers thus ignoring the poorest of the poor
  • Largely ignores the underlying issues of poverty and since its inception has done little to "lift" farmers out of poverty