Fair Trade aims to ensure farmers and workers behind Fair Trade Certified products get a better price and improved terms of trade. The Fair Trade certification sets out to tackle poverty and increase empowerment of farmers and farm workers in developing countries.
The Fair Trade certification ensures fair and stable prices for coffee growers with a minimum price that aims to cover the average costs of sustainable production. This acts as a safety protection at times when world markets fall below a sustainable level. In addition, a Fair Trade Premium is also paid to producers, who can invest it in a communal fund and use it to improve their livelihoods.
Fair Trade Certified coffees also contribute to protecting the environment by encouraging coffee growers to implement environmentally sustainable farming and production practices. For example, farmers must not use certain harmful chemicals, as well as products which include GMOs. Coffee growers are also encouraged to work toward Organic certification.
Fair Trade Certified products also guarantee decent and fair working conditions. For example, child labour is prohibited. Fair Trade also means long-term trading relationships between producers, traders and companies – and gives producers a greater control over the trading process. Fair Trade also enables producers to receive pre-payment from buyers.
The Fair Trade certification system monitors the supply chain, from the producers to the packaging. Van Houtte® Fair Trade coffees are certified by TransFair Canada , a non-profit organization member of the Fairtrade Labelling Organizations International (FLO). FLO sets the Fair Trade standards, supports producers and inspects (through its independent certification company) producers and traders to ensure they comply with the standards. TransFair Canada, as the only third-party certifier of Fair Trade products in Canada, monitors and audits products once they are in the country.
By buying Fair Trade Certified coffees, you can contribute to an improved quality of life for coffee producers and workers, and to more environmentally-friendly practices.