Had an interesting conversation the other day with a cafe owner I am good friends with. I want to know what you think about his comments, so please comment below
I asked whether he was fair trade. To which he responded “No.” So I asked him whether he would convert to fair trade. He answered with something along these lines:
“I already provide coffee that pays the producers a wage higher than market value, they are essentially fair trade. However, the coffee I supply is premium quality. The label of fair trade is not often associated with premium quality beans. I have thus chosen to steer away from fair trade labelling. However, the producers are payed a fair price, and thus the coffee is essentially fair trade.”
I thought this raised a very good point. Fair Trade does have a perception of lower quality, which is strange, considering we are paying the producers more, and often this is a great motivation to do their jobs better and work harder. The perception may be incorrect, but it is there.
What is your perception of fair trade, the label? And what are your thoughts about cafe owners with this view on fair trade coffee?