Fair trade coffee

According to the World Fair Trade Organization and the other three major Fair Trade organizations (Fairtrade Labelling Organizations International, Network of European Worldshops and European Fair Trade Association), the definition of fair trade is "a trading partnership, based on dialogue, transparency and respect, that seeks greater equity in international trade". The stated goal is to offer better trading conditions to marginalized producers and workers. Fair trade organizations, along with the backing of consumers, campaign for change in the rules and practice of conventional international trade. However, not all coffee producers are happy with the methods or results. Fair Trade organizations promote a trade environment in which the coffee importer has a direct relationship with the coffee producer, excluding the middlemen. Coffee importers provide credit to certified farmers to help them stay out of debt with coffee traders so they can develop long-lasting trade relationships. Producer organizations are paid a floor price (Fairtrade Minimum Price) of US$ 125 cents per pound for Fairtrade certified washed Arabica and US$ 120 cents for unwashed Arabica, or the market price, if higher.[13] The free trade price of coffee rose above this minimum in September 2007, but due to recent economic events, the free trade price dropped back below this minimum in October 2008.[14] The fair trade price for (conventional natural robusta) coffee has been $1.01 since June 2008 [15] The price of conventional commodity coffee was also over $1 in 2008, but about $0.70 in 2009.[16] Fairtrade certification is not free; there is an application fee, initial certification fee, membership dues, annual audit fees and more. Certification can cost thousands of Euros for a single plantation.[17] Large corporate farms can often handle the paperwork and recuperate the cost of certification more easily than mall, independent farms. As a result, there are plenty of small, independent farms that are not Fairtrade certified even though they meet or exceed the Fairtrade standards. The World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO), formerly the International Federation of Alternative Traders ("IFAT"), was created in 1989 and is a global association of 324 organizations in over 70 countries.[1] Members are fair trade producer cooperatives and associations, export marketing companies, importers, retailers, national and regional fair trade networks and Fair Trade Support Organizations. WFTO's mission is to improve the livelihoods and well being of disadvantaged producers by linking and promoting Fair Trade Organizations, and speaking out for greater justice in world trade. WFTO's core fields of activities are: Developing the market for fair trade Building trust in fair trade Speaking out for fair trade Providing networking opportunities Empowering the regions In 2004 WFTO launched a fair trade certification. The FTO Mark identifies registered Fair Trade Organizations worldwide (as opposed to products in the case of FLO International and Fairtrade mark) and guarantees that standards are being implemented regarding working conditions, wages, child labor and the environment. These standards are verified by self-assessment, mutual reviews and external verification. The FTO Mark is available to all WFTO members who meet the requirements of the WFTO Standards and Monitoring System and so far over 150 organizations have registered. The WFTO operates in five key regions: Africa, Asia, Latin America, Europe and North America & Pacific Rim.[2] Members in Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America have come together to form WFTO regional chapters. They are: Cooperation for Fair Trade in Africa (COFTA) WFTO Asia WFTO Europe WFTO-LA Associacion Latino Americana de Commercio Justo (WFTO Latin America)