Fair Trade is a popular term used lately in coffee production and selling bags of coffee in the United States. Many products can be certified as “Fair Trade”, but coffee is one of the standout products that has the popularity of the Fair Trade certification increasing every year. 

What is Fair Trade? Fair Trade USA is the most popular non-profit organization that evaluates brands of coffee and looks at the sourcing of the coffee. There are many strict standards that are followed by Fair Trade USA from looking at environmental sustainability, fair compensation on employees, and promotes businesses that help protect the environment.  Fair Trade means that companies will pay a fair, market price to all workers along the supply chain from the origin of the coffee all the way to when the coffee sits on the store shelf.

Many Fair Trade Organizations require for their stamp of approval that the coffee roaster invests 25% of their premium of the coffee to improving productivity and quality. As of this writing, there are over 1.5 million companies registered with Fair Trade Organizations to certify their products.  Do not confuse “Direct Trade” with “Fair Trade” as these are still two different terms. Direct Trade means to have a direct relationship with a coffee farm or roaster – but it doesn’t mean they adhere to the rigorous Fair Trade rules.



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