Let’s address the elephant in the room: the increased price for your daily cup of joe. It’s not a secret that coffee producers have been struck with disastrous weather conditions that have tremendously impacted coffee production. While this translates to a palpable increase in the price of your cup of coffee, the problem with coffee prices, in general, is much more complex than a weather-imposed price increase. The morose reality for many coffee producers around the globe is barely being able to make ends meet. Simply put, the increase in your coffee does not equate to an increase in the wages for producers, it merely addresses the market repercussions of less-than-optimal weather conditions. The rhetoric surrounding the recent price increase neglects to mention that on average historic low coffee prices continue to perpetuate ongoing producer debt, and despite recent price spikes, the average producer’s ongoing debt will continue to be a reality.
This lack of transparency can partially be attributed to marketing strategies associated with the term “Fair Trade'' and the assumption of the inherent mutually beneficial relationship it provides between producers and consumers. Unfortunately, the reality is that Fair Trade possesses an ostensibly altruistic facade wherein farmers seem like beneficiaries, but are ultimately left with the short end of the stick in terms of trade. This is why Transcend does not deal in certified “Fair Trade” products. We have chosen not to support a certification that does little to provide a market that is malleable enough for farmers to sustainably benefit from it. Embedding words such as sustainability, fair trade, and ethics with no tangible outcome, does not alleviate the pervasiveness of the poverty these farmers face. Ethical words do not equate to ethical practice.
Interested in what else Transcend stands behind in terms of ethical guidelines? Read the post below for more information.