Does “Fair-Trade” Coffee Help Poor Nations?

In Guatemala not exactly.


However, a recent analysis of Fair Trade cooperatives in Guatemala indicates that while Fair Trade is indeed helping to improve the situation for some growers with small to mid-size farms, the actual improvement in wages and working conditions for the seasonal workers have been minimal to non-existent.

Also, according to Fair Trade Labeling Organizations International, Fair Trade farmers sell only about 20% of their coffee at a Fair Trade price.

The rest is sold at the lower world price due to a lack of demand for Fair Trade coffee, thus continuing to keep workers’ wages below what is needed to adequately feed and shelter their families.