Data Snapshot: Coffee Farmer Income

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Photo courtesy of Fairtrade International

via Fairtrade America

Around 80% of the world’s coffee is produced by 17.7 million small-scale coffee farmers. And while the coffee industry aims to be a sustainability leader, the fact is that many farmers continue to struggle to make ends meet and support their families.

New research finds that the future of coffee depends on adequate income for farmers. A pilot study by Fairtrade International and True Price shows that despite sustainability pledges in the coffee sector, many coffee farmers struggle to make ends meet.

Key findings from the report include: 

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Coffee’s Big Sustainability Challenges

By Miguel Zamora, Head of Americas Region, UTZ

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Coffee farmers in Uganda at farmer field school. Photo: UTZ

The sustainability issues that the coffee industry face will get bigger and more pressing in the coming decades. Climate change, labor shortages, human rights issues in coffee production, and production profitability are examples of threats to the future of coffee.

These are complex questions that require sector-wide approaches to find solutions.

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The Next Step in Sustainability Standards

By Verónica Perez, 4C Association

HN producer meeting 2 March2014

Last year over 149 million bags of coffee were consumed around the world. The love for this black beverage keeps growing in new markets, with more and more people enjoying coffee in their daily lives.

But as much as they love their cup, an increasing number of consumers also have concerns about the conditions in which farmers produce their beans. Even those less conscious would be upset to find out that protected areas are being deforested to grow coffee, or that pesticides used in production could be putting the health of farmers and workers at risk.

Companies are under increasing pressure to supply coffee that has been produced in accordance to sustainability criteria. But this is not always easy. Continue reading