Our geographic reach
Over 87% of coffee harvested comes from Latin America and the Caribbean, with over 2,376,595 acres of land under Fairtrade coffee certification. Top Producing Countries include:
Fairtrade coffee market landscape in the US
The coffee sector is faced with a wide range of sustainability challenges including record-low market prices, climate change pressures, decreasing soil fertility, gender imbalances, and an aging generation of producers. Fairtrade recognizes the need to dignify the work of farmers and workers by advocating for a fairer price and providing farmers with economic stability in an unpredictable and volatile market environment.
The Fairtrade Minimum Price (FMP) is a floor price that covers producers’ average costs of production and allows them access to their product markets. If the market price exceeds the FMP, farmers negotiate with buyers to sell at a higher price based on quality and other factors. In addition, coffee farmers receive a Fairtrade Premium.
Fairtrade coffee market trends
Fairtrade coffee sales volume
Fairtrade coffee premiums paid
Fairtrade drives women's empowerment: women's roles in coffee production
Fairtrade is working to improve women’s equality in coffee production. In 2018-2019, over 70% of Kenyan farmers were small landholders. While women made up three-quarters of the workforce on these lands, they only represented 40% of management. Women also continue to be one of the most vulnerable populations in coffee production and lack secure rights to production resources, land ownership, and access to credit facilities.
With support from Fairtrade, the Growing Women in Coffee project has helped 480 women become members of two coffee co-operatives, introducing more women into coffee management. In 2018, participants in this project introduced a women-owned brand into their local market: Zawadi Coffee. The commercialization of Zawadi Coffee demonstrates the potential of coffee to promote gender equality and empowerment.
“Firstly, it’s about the women, but it’s also about the whole community. Giving the women economic empowerment – allowing them to own and nurture their own coffee bushes – means they can learn and help others learn. The impact of this is seen in the quality of the plants they grow, socially in the community, and especially in the glow on the women’s faces. And now we have a product to show for all their hard work too.” – Marion Ng’ang’a – Agronomist, Fairtrade Africa
Fairtrade Premium and organic trends
Fairtrade Premium use
Organic vs. conventional coffee volumes sold in North America
Fairtrade’s Impact in Coffee Production
604 Coffee Producer Organizations participated in Fairtrade in 2018-2019, representing 758,400 farmers–a total growth of 4% over the previous year. This participation helped to generate almost $11 million in Fairtrade Premiums from the North American market to coffee producers.
At least five cents per pound (US $0.05/lb) of the Fairtrade Premium is dedicated to farm renovation initiatives aimed at boosting production, quality, and sustainability. 24% of Fairtrade premiums were used to fund direct payments to supplement producers’ earnings, which is unsurprising given the prospect of continued low coffee prices.
Additional services included investments to provide fertilizers, agricultural tools and inputs to farmers, and training in agricultural and business best practices. The next highest share of Fairtrade Premium funds was 20%, which was invested in producer organizations. This largely included investments in facilities and infrastructure, administrative costs, and building the capacity of producer organization staff, board and committees through training.
Responding to climate change
Farmers are at the forefront of climate change, experiencing devastating effects that threaten their livelihoods. Fairtrade is supporting farmers to adapt to these changes and mitigate the effects on their crops and growing conditions.
The Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Aldi Germany have supported almost 5,000 coffee farmers to adapt to and mitigate climate change effects in Honduras. This three-year partnership launched in 2018 and has been instrumental in supporting cooperatives to recover from the devastating coffee rust epidemic of 2014.
Farmers in this program have since introduced more resistant coffee varieties, using fruit trees to provide shade for coffee bushes and providing families with additional income. Over 90% of the farmers in the program increased the number of their coffee plants in 2018 and showed improved profitability. Demonstration plots have turned into community innovation centers, where coffee sector actors across Honduras come to learn and share sustainable agricultural practices.
Celebrate your impact
We hope that you will join us in better advocating for coffee farmers by: