Australians everywhere get to enjoy easy access to good food and drink. However, too often we’ll lose track of where our food comes from, and this is especially easy when we’re buying, for example, multiple cups of coffee every day.
It’s important to consider both organic and fair trade options when choosing which café to be a patron to, or which beans to bring home for brewing. We’ve explained both so you can better appreciate their importance.
Organic coffee beans
Similar to the process in which organic alcohol is cultivated, organic coffee beans are farmed without the use of pesticides and chemicals – using other methods to combat pests and promote proper growth. Additionally, the fertiliser used must also be entirely organic – no chemicals allowed. This is great for the soil as well, and therefore the environment.
Ethically sourced / Fairtrade coffee beans
Coffee is big business, but the bulk of coffee beans are harvested from developing nations. In fact for some of these countries, their GDP would be in serious trouble if it weren’t for their coffee bean exports.
Now when you think of coffee, your first thought may not be, “Gosh, it’s a massive worldwide commodity,” but it’s important to consider when you try to understand Fairtrade. An agreement set up in the 1962 by international governments ensured that coffee imports and exports would be carried out in a manner in which producers wouldn’t be victims of this particularly volatile market.
So, how does Fairtrade go about achieving this? It sets up frameworks so producers, farmers and workers have fair, regulated working conditions, and that they fetch a fair wage for their work. The agreements also ensure the environment doesn’t suffer from the mass production and harvesting of these coffee bean crops, and outlaws child labour. So, when you buy Fairtrade beans today, you can rest easy that your morning caffeine hit hasn’t come at the expense of others.
We’ve only scraped the surface about Fairtrade. There’s much more you can learn about it on the Fairtrade website: http://fairtrade.com.au/