In the wake of the death of six Brazilian men, the world begins to think of ways to counter act the coffee market that makes the rich man richer and the poor man poorer.
Many coffee consumers want to be educated about where they are purchasing their coffee from. The question of how to distinguish farms who made and effort to take care of both their people and the land from those who didn't was of crucial importance. Organizations were formed to give farmers a way to show their efforts in making a difference.
Some popular organizations that have made it their priority to advocate for farm and farmer are:
Fair Trade: This organization is the leading American certifier of fairly traded products. Coffee is only one product among many this organization works with. Their staff work in country and in the US to ensure each farm certified with Fair Trade provides a safe workplace and a fair wage to their employees.
Rain Forest Alliance: This non-governmental organization certifies farms that participate in their conservation of biodiversity. Meeting a long list of requirements for their land and farming practices, farms that obtain this certificate show their care for the land they take their pay from.
USDA Organic: This organization certifies farms who participate in practices that preserve or help the environment as well as use very little to no synthetic materials in their product or production.
Bird Friendly: This organization requires farmers to meet very high standards of production including the requirement of up to forty percent of their farm to be shade grown crop. This ensures the wildlife in their area has ample space to thrive. The organization works closely with biologists that recommend the best trees and habitats for the wildlife in the farming area.
These organizations and the people who work with them are investing not only in the earth from which our coffee comes from, but in people's lives, giving them the opportunity to make a better life for themselves.
Searching out products with these certifications is a great way to invest in others and be a responsible consumer.