Most of the coffee producing countries are the developing countries we commonly talk about.
The purchase price of coffee beans is set in the international markets of New York and London, far from the production floor. International market prices are so volatile that prices have skyrocketed due to the inflow of speculative funds as recently reported on TV.
However, most small private farmers who do not have access to market trends or market means of sale are forced to rely on intermediaries.
As a result, we are in an environment where we do not get enough benefits, are unstable, and can not send our children to school.
Fair Trade is a small private farmhouse working together to create a producer association. All of the members develop their own community through the benefits of Fair Trade, such as activities that increase production capacity or develop the organization by directly acquiring bargaining power in cooperation with the market.
The International fair trade standard specifies the "fair trade minimum price" required to support the producers' sustainable production and living, so that even if the international market price declines, the importer guarantees a "fair trade minimum" .
For example, based on the price of April 1, 2011, the fair trade minimum price of arabica coffee is 1 pound 140 cents, plus organic certified coffee for +30 cents.
In developing countries, 14 million people are making a living through cacao production. One of the serious problems facing developing countries is child labor. That number is 218 million people, or one in seven children around the world. The cacao bean plantation is recently discovered as one of the hot spots.
The causes of child labor exploitation include social customs, traditions, cultural backgrounds, inadequacy of educational systems and welfare systems, and in most cases, economic "poverty" is the cause.
International fair trade prohibits child labor and guarantees a safe working environment. Above all, we are setting fair trade prices to sustain sustainable production and livelihoods so that producers can profitably benefit from the international market price fluctuations to break the chain of poverty.
Once the fair trade has yielded a decent and stable income for the producers, the work of the children will disappear.
Approximately 100 million households are engaged in cotton production in more than 70 countries around the world. Especially in developing countries such as Cameroon and Mali, West Africa, India and Pakistan, it is an important agricultural product that supports the national economy and people's life.
However, there is a favorable inequality structure in advanced countries on the back of the cotton trade. Most cotton producers in developing countries are in a harsh, low-cost situation that does not even cover the cost of production. Cotton is also synonymous with natural materials. Despite the fact that cultivated land is less than 3% of the world's agricultural land, about 16% of the pesticides used worldwide and about 10% of the total agriculture are used in cotton farms (PESTICIDE ACTION NETWORK, 2007)
Dangerous pesticides that are prohibited from being used internationally are still used in developing countries, and they have a huge impact on the environment, and producers are poisoned by pesticides or harmed to health.
International fair trade standards prohibit dangerous pesticides and encourage organic farming. For example, in West Africa, there are more villages in the Republic of Mali that are promoting fair trade certification and switching to organic farming. Through these efforts, the diseases caused by pesticides have disappeared, and the health of the farmers has been restored.