Both the non-Fair Trade and the Fair Trade coffee supply chains
start with the farmers who plant and tend the coffee trees. At
this point, the Fair Trade supply chain splits off from the rest of the coffee.
Pickers (may include children) are paid a couple
cents for every pound of coffee they harvest. Harvested coffee
is sold to wholesalers or collectors for washing and drying.
It is transported and sold at auction by exporters to a roasting
company. The company roasts and blends it with other kinds
of coffee and prepares it for the final consumer. When it
reaches your cup it has been marked up 1200-1500% (or more to the largest
markup the market allows) from the prices that are paid to farmers.
No children will be pickers! Pickers are paid a living wage. The
farmer sells the coffee to the Fair Trade Cooperative of which he
is a member. The cooperative washes, dries, and packages the
coffee for sale and shipment to Alternative Trading Organizations
(ATOs) for a minimum of $1.26 per pound. The ATOs roast and
package the coffee for sale to the final consumer. www.ocdc.coop/fairtrade/coffee.htm
adapted from Stop Human Trafficking! Newsletter, “Child Slavery Today” HO