We're delighted at the number of people becoming more conscious of the different products available to them. We also love the fact that many people are choosing to live more ethically. And because of these critical changes, we're starting to field a lot more questions. What is fair trade coffee? What is organic coffee? Are these two terms interchangeable? Is fair trade always organic?
Well, question no more! It's time to clear up the confusion once and for all!
What Is Fair Trade Coffee?
Fair trade is an approach to business that gives marginalized producers a chance to thrive within their communities. It’s what ensures that farmers are treated properly and are paid fairly in exchange for providing goods. Farmers are paid a premium for their products, which means that not only they and their farms benefit, but so does the community as a whole.
What Is Organic Coffee?
Put simply, organic coffee is coffee that’s been grown in natural agriculture. So, this means organic coffee is always grown using environmental and animal-friendly methods and without the use of pesticides, herbicides, or any other dangerous chemicals. Typically, organic farming also requires that the fertilizer has been rotated and maintained to keep the soil healthy — which produces better beans.
Fertilizers and other growing conditions are often tested for coherence and continued certification. However, we should note that each country has different qualifications for what they consider organic — and some are much stricter than others. Canada has very high standards for deeming what’s organic and is governed by the Government Organic Standards and Regulations. These guidelines not only apply to products grown in Canada but for the importing and exporting of products as well.
Is One Better than the Other?
It’s tough to say one is better than the other when fair trade and organic mean different things. Fair trade focuses on assisting farmers in building their own healthy, sustainable farms, which usually means they’re environmentally friendly as well. It also allows them to be able to give back to and build up their community as a whole. Organic practices, on the other hand, focus specifically on the environment and the actual growing practices themselves.
Fair trade coffee is often organic because farmers genuinely care about their land, but organically grown coffee isn’t always fair trade. Fair trade and organic are akin to partners who work extremely well together but also have their own place.
So, our opinion about which may be “better”? We personally feel that fair trade edges out organic because our mission is to always put people before the planet. And when you put people first, they take better care of the earth.
Obtaining beans from farmers who truly care is the very first step in our whole process of providing you with beans you can trust — and with a fantastic taste!