The challenges of solving human rights abuses

Posted by Lauren Scaroni on

There is compelling research that Fairtrade certification does change lives. However, the same research shows that voluntary initiatives are not enough. In this short video, Montville Coffee's leaders Kevin Fraikin, Karen Barnett, and Sean McGowan explain why Montville Coffee is so committed to the principles of Fairtrade Certification as a strategy to improve the lives of coffee growers.

The impact of certification depends on sales. Fairtrade Certified production exceeds demand. So, when you choose to buy Certified Fairtrade it makes a difference.

In the long term, if we are really going to mitigate human rights abuses in global supply chains, legislation is needed. Voluntary initiatives like certifications are not sufficient to solve human rights abuses. What these voluntary initiatives like Fairtrade, Certified Organic and BCorp do is demonstrate how it can be done.

Through our partnership with Fairtrade, Montville Coffee is advocating for legislation that will protect all growers and producers, not just those who are part of the Fairtrade Certification program, from suffering human rights abuses. 

FAIRTRADE is built on the idea of strengthening farmers’ and workers’ say and livelihoods in global supply chains.

Independent research shows that Fairtrade does indeed advance these goals. According to a systematic review of 151 academic articles and other quantitative and qualitative studies of Fairtrade’s outputs, outcomes and impact, research shows that Fairtrade:

  • strengthens smallholder farmers’ cooperatives - their organisational capacity and, in particular, representation and democracy
  • improves farmers’ income, wellbeing and resilience
  • improves workers’ health and safety, payment terms and job satisfaction
  • enhances women’s representation and participation and, especially at plantations, equality of pay
  • raises consumers’ awareness, commitment and willingness to pay for fair and sustainable consumption (Source)

Resources
Fairtrade - How Fairtrade works (Minimum Price, Premium, Standards)
Fairtrade - Fairtrade Premium Overview
Article 1: Future of coffee depends on adequate income for farmers, study shows
Article 2: The cost behind a cup of Fairtrade Coffee