Fairness is one of the founding principles of the organic movement, with the aim of providing a good quality of life for all involved and reducing poverty. So it makes sense that there is a close link between Fairtrade and organic. In fact, 51% of Fairtrade farmers also hold organic certification – to ensure the food they produce protects both workers and the environment.
The Soil Association, who certify 70% of all organic food in the UK, include detail about workers’ rights in their certification standards. They ensure that all their licensees comply with the UN convention for human rights, and the core standards of the international labour organisation, as well as not allowing involuntary labour or child labour.
For Fairtrade certified coffee farmers around the world, environmental protection and conservation is incredibly important. Central to the Fairtrade standards are requirements for them to improve their agricultural practices; which benefit the local environment, the health of the community and the quality of the products they grow.
Never has it been more important for us to focus on, and take responsibility for, our relationship with world around us. We are living in a time when coffee farmers are facing increasing challenges from climate change. Helping farmers adopt organic practices, to create a sustainable future for their livelihoods and the global coffee supply, is a priority for the Fairtrade Foundation.
Fairtrade and organic together in Indonesia
There are 25 Fairtrade certified coffee cooperatives in Indonesia and all but one are certified organic. For Indonesian farmers, protecting their nutrient rich soils and high quality coffee production goes hand in hand with their desire to be both Fairtrade and organic. At the cooperative Arinagata, in north Sumatra, farmers plant their organic coffee bushes between fruit trees to create a healthier growing environment. This way of farming improves the flavour of their coffee, creates shade to protect coffee bushes in the hot summers and increases biodiversity.
Below: Fairtrade farmers at cooperative Thuan An. Copyright: Anna Pierides.