Monday, November 07, 2011

Fair Trade vs Value Added

Fair Trade (FT) coffee is different from most other fair trade items. Most FT products are the result of a worker, craftsman or artist shaping or fashioning raw materials into a finished, value-added product.

This value-added product earns the craftsman far more than the raw materials that compose the product, compensating the worker for his/her labor. Consider as fair trade examples:  jewelry from Indonesia, carvings from Africa, baskets from Bangladesh.

“Fair trade coffee” pays the farmer a fair trade price, but only for his raw (oro) or
green coffee. Additional processing is required for consumption and this additional  processing commands a significant dollar premium.

Other than the indigenous farmers increasing prices for their raw commodity product, in a price-sensitive market environment that can easily substitute cheaper coffee alternatives in response to rising prices,-- additional revenue streams can only be generated by introducing a value added process: roasting.

Multinational coffee companies have no economic incentive to pioneer a change that could drastically improve the lives of Third World coffee farmers, as they capture the economic premium derived from the roasting process.

Our mission is to secure the necessary funding to create a roasting facility for these Mayan descendants—right in their Rainforest tribal community.  This simple addition will empower these gentle people to take their coffee from seed to cup.  It will enable them to earn from 30-50% more of the specialty coffee dollar.

Please review to the budget breakdown for equipping this facility.  If you find that you’d like to contribute in any way—please contact us!

The Earth Friendly Foundation
(pending 501c3, IRS # available)
A Social Justice Initiative
To Benefit
The indigenous coffee farmers
Quiche, Guatemala