As a reformed coffee addict, I know a good cup of coffee. Drinking high quality organic fair trade coffee is important to me both for the superior quality and taste as well as the environment. You have probably noticed rising costs for your morning cup of coffee. Thanks to climate change, coffee production in vulnerable and crops are failing. According to the Union of Concerned Scientists, irregular weather patterns and changes in rainfall are causing coffee production to dwindle worldwide. In addition, coffee is one of the major crops grown in developing nations that relies on exploitation of cheap labor. Buying fair trade organically grown coffee is combating both climate change and unfair labor practices at the same time. By supporting organic farmers, with your wallet, you are contributing to the solution.
Costa Rica is among one of the top world coffee producers. It has excellent conditions for growing coffee due to the micro-climates. Coffee accounts for 11 percent of export revenues and employs 5 percent of people in Costa Rica. After ecotourism, it is a major industry and export for Costa Rica. Cococafe is the coffee cooperative in Costa Rica. Founded in 1988, is coffee cooperative located throughout Costa Rica. With farms that exist in the higher altitudes representing 3500 farmers.
By buying fair trade products, I am supporting international companies that practice fair labor standards and sustainable business. For these companies green is not an image, it is an integral part of the company’s philosophy. And green includes not exploiting labor prices. There was an article today in the sustainable business section of the Guardian, that raises the question of businesses starting to consider to the impact their practices have on children and future generations. Similar to the anti-child labor laws that were passed in the beginning of the 20th century, the article raises a similar question regarding children’s rights and environmental destruction. These types of businesses already exist. They are sustainable fair trade companies found throughout the developing world. When you buy their products and shop at your local farmers market and buy organic, you are supporting fair trade and sustainability.
Costa Rica is a hub for fair trade coffee companies. When visiting the Osa Peninsula, it is worth taking a day trip to tour these plantations both for their beauty and education. Many of the ecotourism related hotels and resorts in the area buy from the local growers in the area supporting fair trade as well as the local economy. These practices contribute to the happiness of everyone from consumer to producer. When we support fair trade businesses, we are raising the standard of living and quality of life for everyone. Coffee is a treasure for the Costa Rica economy and a product consumed by billions of people daily worldwide. Imagine the impact of purchasing fair trade coffee. You can do something good for everyone including your children and the next generation while enjoying a superior cup of coffee in the present moment.