Just like any other crops, bad weather, diseases, and pests can dramatically impact a coffee farmer’s harvest from year to year. Market prices can be volatile and are highly competitive, which makes it tricky for coffee farmers to predict their income or plan their financial future.
But as coffee drinkers, we can play a part in securing a better livelihood for coffee farmers around the world. Here’s how.
Buy Fairtrade Coffee
“We donate 10% of our profits to the coffee farmers we work with.” Sounds familiar? Many coffee companies and cafes advertise that they have a direct relationship with the coffee plantations that supply their beans.
But it’s hard to tell as these claims are difficult to track. If you’d prefer not to take their word for it, look out for Fairtrade labels on the coffee beans that you purchase.
Fairtrade is a global certification scheme that assures farmers are paid at least the Fairtrade Minimum Price, which acts as a safety net even when market prices drop.
Buy from Roasters that Source from Small Farms
Coffee roasters that source beans from small-batch farmers are usually more involved in the supply chain and farming process as they have a direct relationship. It’s a win-win situation. You don’t only get to support smaller coffee farms, you also get to enjoy fresher coffee.
You can even contact your favourite coffee roaster to ask about where their beans are sourced and how much they know about the supply chain. If coffee roasters like this Singapore award-winning roaster can answer these questions, you can rest assured that your beans are of better quality.
Choose Organic Coffee
Yes, it is no doubt that organic coffee is generally pricier than regular coffee. But by purchasing organic coffee, you play a role in supporting the costs of sustainable farming and production methods.
Plus, organic coffee is not only healthier for yourself, but also for coffee farmers and the environment. How? Regular coffee is grown in plantations that practice chemical farming. As a result, these chemicals expose farmers to impurities that are both air-borne and present in the water that they drink.
By choosing organic coffee, you are consuming chemical-free coffee, protecting the health and supporting the livelihood of coffee farmers, and saving the environment.
Spread the Word
Real, positive change begins with strong communities. It takes a global effort to amplify the impact we can make on the lives of coffee farmers that provide us with our daily cup of coffee.
Start with educating yourself about Coffee 101 and everything you need to know about the coffee bean. You can then amplify your impact and ours by simply leveraging your social media channels and telling your friends. Together, we can support coffee farmers by drinking good coffee.