Coffee is the second most globally traded commodity second only to oil therefore the market is extremely large. This leads to a huge coffee farming industry. In recent years, there has been a large push for awareness of the process a product undergoes to get to the consumer. My family and I sincerely enjoy freshly roasted coffee. My mother and father were recently in Panama and decided to purchase a coffee farm with the goal of creating a sustainable retirement home for themselves in the future. They also became aware of the issues surrounding the workers who live and work on the farms in the area and decided that one of their goals would be to provide fair housing and pay for the workers on their farm. I was inspired by this to learn more about the situation and found information regarding Fairtrade practices and goals. They were founded on many principles including that of upholding human rights of the people involved in producing the products they certify. I found some allegations regarding the legitimacy of the company, most interestingly from one of the farmers my parents met with in Panama. This led me to question the company and then to my research question of ‘How well does Fairtrade uphold the human rights of coffee workers and producers?
Fairtrade Labeling Organizations International (FLO) is a global organization which is responsible for labeling the products which become Fairtrade Certified and carry the Fairtrade seal. Throughout the late 80s and early 90s various ‘Fair Trade’ organizations were created across Europe and North America. Fair Trade was defined by the International Federation for Alternative Trade (IFAT) as:
. […] a trading partnership based on dialogue, transparency and respect that seeks greater equity in International trade. it contributes to sustainable development by offering better trading conditions to, and securing the rights of, marginalized producers and workers- especially in... [continues]
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