Our Geographic Reach
There are almost 800,000 coffee farmers represented by 636 producer organizations in the Fairtrade system spread across the world. In 2020, Peru exported $60 million worth of coffee to other countries, making it one the world’s leading coffee exporters. Peru also exported the highest volume of Fairtrade coffee worldwide.
Top producing countries now include:
Our Collective Impact
Fairtrade complements its certification services with a range of tailored programs, empowering farmers, and workers to tackle their organizational and development challenges. Fairtrade also engages with coffee companies to encourage commitments and partnerships on supporting climate change resilience and mitigation efforts. This has led, for instance, to the Coffee Rust Program that focused on building the organizational and community capabilities to help farmer organizations share and train on best practices, develop strategic plans, build project management skills and increase the participation of youth, women and other under-represented community members. Almost 18,000 farmers in 45 smallholder organizations in Guatemala and Honduras were directly impacted.
“This project has reached the heart of many producers,” said Isela Vásquez, from the COAQUIL cooperative in Honduras. “We focus more on young people and women so that they can have a stake in the organization.”
Snapshot: Fairtrade Sales Volume & Premium
Fairtrade volumes increased by 16% compared to last year and is expected to continue to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 8.7% through to 2025. While the global price for Arabica beans fell below $1/lb for months – well below the cost of sustainable production for most coffee farmers – Fairtrade cooperatives were guaranteed at least the combined Fairtrade Minimum Price and Premium of US$1.60/lb. Fairtrade coffee producers also received over $10.5M in Fairtrade Premiums in 2020 from North America alone.
Fairtrade coffee North America sales volume
Fairtrade Premiums generated by North America coffee sales
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are global goals designed by the United Nations General Assembly to be a “blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all”. Fairtrade Premium investments made by cotton producers contribute to several of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). While most activities can apply to more than one SDG, here we have mapped each category of spending to a unique SDG for simplicity.
- 60% of Fairtrade Premium was invested in financing
costs, the provision of fertilizers andtools to farmers, and training on productivity and farming practices together representing SDG2 (zero hunger), which according to the United Nations, includes support for smallholder farmers.
- SDG1 (no poverty) is central to Fairtrade’s mission. Most of the Fairtrade Premium spending by coffee producer organizations towards this goal related to credit services and direct payments of Fairtrade Premium monies to farmer members. These are important means of reducing households’ out-of-pocket expenses and supplementing incomes.
- 7% of Fairtrade Premium funds contributed to the achievement of other SDGs such as SDG4 (quality education) through the provision of scholarships and bursaries, school uniforms and books, loans for education and payment of school fees.
- SDG11 (sustainable cities and communities) was also supported through contributions to social or economic services for communities, investment in roads, support for vulnerable groups, and community infrastructure.
Producer Story: Investing in the Future
Founded in 2001 with 7000 lempiras (USD $300) of social capital, Cafe Organico Marcala (COMSA) grew out of an initiative under the umbrella of a rural credit union. Sixty-nine producers from Marcala, Honduras came together as the founding members of COMSA with a vision of creating new and alternative development opportunities for small-scale coffee. COMSA was Fairtrade certified in 2005 after members learned from Fairtrade cooperatives in the area that Fairtrade included a stable minimum price, almost three times higher than the market price.
They soon realized other benefits, including access to specialist markets, access to finance, business support and technical advice. The training COMSA received to meet Fairtrade Standards helped strengthen business practices and build capacity. COMSA has developed relationships with Fairtrade buyers and roasters who now visit the farms to continue to build relationships and understand the plight of coffee farmers. Their main ambition is to pass on to their children a legacy of sustainable coffee production.
“The objective of our company is to improve the lives of every single one of us and our families … and we have found a strategic ally in Fairtrade. With that small producer label, we receive a premium and invest a part of it in capacity building of our producers to improve production and productivity, to generate the change that we need here,” said Enrique Mario Perez, COMSA Board Member.
COMSA has used their Fairtrade Premium to fund courses in organic agriculture from the national university for their members who have consulted on agricultural and training practices to farmers. They have also developed low-cost, quick-win technologies that are easy for farmers to implement. The soil fertility program, for example, requires laboratory analysis of soil samples taken on farm visits, then advising farmers of the recommended organic fertilizers, nutrients and minerals needed to improve the fertility of their soil.
From integrated farm management training modules, use of shade trees, water management, to cupping characteristics – COMSA farmers have integrated agricultural techniques that elevate the final coffee taste. The producer’s also exchange visits to successful farms to share knowledge and publish what they learn on the COMSA web site.
Navigating the Global Pandemic
In the face of unprecedented challenges, our Fairtrade community has been innovative, resilient and a source of inspiration during the COVID-19 global pandemic. For example, the cooperative ATAISI, working in coffee and sugar, supported the establishment of a handwashing station and a tunnel to sanitize passers-by and vehicles entering their local towns of San Isidro and Colonia Llano Grande.
Our activities in 2020 to date have been guided by our mission to achieve a more equitable world where farmers and workers can maintain a decent and dignified livelihood through fair trade, and we continually provide updates on our pandemic-related efforts here.
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