Anonymous asks Chocolate Questions about...
Fair trade, who benefits, who loses and at what cost?
Cocoa farmers, cocoa workers and their families and communities benefit the most from fair trade practices.
Cocoa prices can swing dramatically. Fair trade guarantees the farmers a minimum price for their beans. A price that covers the cost of producing cocoa.
The farmers are able to make a living. Otherwise, they would be forced to quit growing cocoa and raise more profitable crops.
In return, the farmers must use environmentally sound growing practices and treat their workers
Cocoa workers are guaranteed better working conditions and pay under fair trade.
Cocoa producing communities benefit from the fair trade premium. That's a bonus, that is spent on local economic, social or environmental projects.
Chocolate lovers benefit from a steadier supply of cocoa.
The losers? Buyers of cocoa who want to take advantage of the farmers. They're not able to pay less than the market price. They must pay the fair trade minimum.
The cost? Fair trade products do cost more. But consumers are free to decide whether they 're willing to pay the extra cost.