People all over the world rely on it to wake up, yet many of the 25 million small-holder coffee farmers who depend on it for their livelihoods struggle to survive.
Coffee is known as a highly volatile commodity, with wide price fluctuations year to year. This is due to coffee production being highly dependent on weather conditions, susceptible to disease and influenced by a range of other factors. For the 125 million people globally whose livelihood is dependent on it, this is bad news. Climate change represents a dire threat for coffee farmers, indeed many farmers are already reporting negative impacts from changing weather patterns and increased pest activity that have led to lower quality and reduced yields.
Many farmers lack reliable market information, this coupled with often small yields leads to situations of unequal power relations where farmers lack bargaining power when engaging in negotiations. Frequently this means they are not paid a fair price for their produce. Fairtrade helps to bring farmers together to strengthen their position and to learn from one another. Globally Fairtrade works with 445 coffee producer organisations, representing 810,000 farmers in 30 countries to make sure they are paid fairly for their produce and work. In 2013-2014, Fairtrade coffee farmers received more than $72 million AUD in Fairtrade Premium to invest to benefit their farms, communities and families.
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Coffee Farmer, Highland Organic Agricultural Cooperative (HOAC), Papua New Guinea
Daniel Kinne is a second generation coffee farmer, chairman, and founding member of the Highland Organic Agricultural Cooperative (HOAC) in Papua New Guinea. Papua New Guinea’s economy is heavily dependent on agriculture and 85 percent of its population are smallholder farmers who produce 1.1 million bags - 6,600 tons of coffee a year. However, producing coffee in this land does not go without struggle.
Significant fluctuations in the global coffee price has a huge impact on coffee farmers like Daniel, making it difficult to plan for the future. But since partnering with Fairtrade, HOAC continues to empower their members to take pride in producing high quality goods and puts the future of their community into their own hands.
Read more about Daniel and the story of HOAC.