Standards for Fair Trade Coffee Certification:
Fair labor conditions: Those who work with Fair Trade farms are able to work with freedom of association, unsafe working conditions, and above fair wages. Child labor is prohibited.
Direct trade: With Fair Trade, importers purchase from Fair Trade producer groups as directly as possible, eliminating the middle man and letting the farmer compete in the global market.
Democratic and transparent organizations: Through proof of a democratic market, Fair Trade farmers and farm workers decide how to invest Fair Trade revenues.
Community development: Fair Trade farmers and workers invest Fair Trade premiums in social and business development projects like scholarship programs, healthcare services and quality improvement training.
Do you buy Fair Trade food? Groups like Equal Exchange sell Fair Trade coffee, tea, chocolate, bananas and almonds. It's more expensive than regular goods, but that's sort of the point. When you drink Fair Trade coffee or eat a banana you don't have to ignore the fact that what you're eating might have been grown and harvested by children or exploited labor. Does that matter to you? We like things to be cheap and often need them to be, but we don't often look at what cheap goods for us costs other people around the planet.