Fair Trade Coffee Industry


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Mar 13, 2015
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Hi everybody,

I know that this topic may be controversial, but I think it is a good discussion to have. I am working as a copy writer and just wrote this article about Fairtrade Coffee Retail Sales in the UK and I will be happy if I can hear some opinions. Here is the text:

[h=3]The UK and the Global Coffee Market[/h]The global coffee market has gone through significant transformations in the last few decades, especially when it comes to fair trade. It might be unexpected to some, but the UK has become one of the largest consumers of fair trade coffee.

We all know that British people love to drink tea and talk about the weather. However, in the last decade coffee has become more and more popular in the UK. After all, the United Kingdom is the 9th largest coffee importer in the world. Moreover, the UK imports 3.3% of the global coffee supply, which corresponds to nearly 185,000 tonnes. Even though the British people are not the biggest coffee consumers, the UK has a huge impact on the world’s coffee market.
[h=3]The Global Coffee Market in Crisis[/h]Since Vietnam became the second largest coffee producer in the world in the 1990’s, the coffee market has changed dramatically. As a result of the oversupply, the price of coffee dropped to its lowest levels. These processes led to extremely unpleasant consequences for small coffee producers. Coffee farmers from Africa, South America and Asia have been suffering ever since.

Keeping in mind that 80% of the world’s coffee is produced by smallholders, fair trade became increasingly important. It somehow served as a guarantee that producers will be provided with better deals for their work. And when it comes to retail sales of fairtrade products, the UK is an absolute leader.
[h=3]The Raising of UK Fair Trading [/h]The UK is one of the countries which played a major role in fair trading and in terms of the revival of the coffee market. For the last 12 years the retail sales of fairtrade coffee in the UK increased nearly 10 times, which is quite a lot for a country of tea drinkers. The number of coffee shops is rapidly growing, exceeding 16,000 in 2014. Furthermore, the second biggest player in the coffee shop business in the UK is one of the largest purchasers of fairtrade certified coffee, as well as many of the independent coffee shops.

This is how the British consumers became one of the biggest supporters of the world fair trade coffee industry. Even more, according to Allegra Strategies, the number of coffee shops in the UK will reach 20,000 in 2018, promising more support for the fair trading.
[h=3]Criticism[/h]The fair trading has also been put under a lot of pressure. Some critics claimed that when a customer buys a cup of coffee, only a small percentage of the final price is actually going to the coffee producer. Other criticism is focused on the fact that fair trade certified products are mostly for the mass market. However, fair trade is constantly developing in order to respond the need for socially sustainable coffee production.

[h=3]Giving Hope to Small Coffee Producers [/h]As previously mentioned, the UK is an absolute leader when it comes to fair trade retail sales. It is difficult to explain why coffee culture has become so popular among British people. However, there is no doubt that coffee shops are offering a wide range of high quality coffee drinks and Brits love them. Somehow, UK coffee lovers are unconsciously giving hope to 25 million small coffee producers, who don’t have the support of their local governments and business sectors. Many coffee producers are forced to work under unacceptable conditions, but still doing their best so that we can drink coffee of the highest quality.

Sources: Fairtrade Foundation, ICO, statista.com, stc-coffee.com

There are also some graphs and if some body is interested I can give a link to the article with the infographs.
Thank you very much in advance.

Last edited by a moderator:
Hello "Paffas"

Thanks for sharing your article.

As you've probably discovered, we have had several threads and discussions about fair trade within the coffee industry.
It is an ongoing topic, and your article will certainly add to the discussions.

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Thank you very much Rose
I appreciate that. I will be glad if you can orient me a little bit, because I am relatively new with forums.
Thanks in advance.

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