Increase in Fairtrade’s Minimum Price for Coffee Is Necessary

Briefing for Fairtrade Ireland’s Coffee Partners

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Fairtrade has just increased the floor price for Fairtrade coffee by an important US$0.40 per lb of green coffee – from US$1.40 to US$1.80. This is the first time in over 11 years that Fairtrade has increased its minimum price like this and is an important step for coffee farmers who continue to have to deal with inflation, climate and other crises on an ongoing basis. We all understand how inflation has impacted us on the purchase of common goods on supermarket shelves, and farmers have had the same impacts on their costs as companies and consumers have had in wealthier markets.

This increase in the minimum price will help deal with the worst impacts of recurring low coffee prices and allow farmers to plan for their business better. However, it is only about the floor price and market prices for coffee in the last 12 months have mostly been above the level of the new minimum Fairtrade price.

We are always saying that someone has to pay for sustainability, and this increase in our minimum price is the right decision for farmers, companies and for consumers. If we want sustainable coffee, to improve people’s livelihoods and deal with climate change then we have to break the cycle of the lowest prices being paid to farmers and help them in recovering their costs. It helps to level the playing field and takes away the worst of the coffee price cycle – and that’s a good thing.

There has been no increase in the social premium of US$0,20 a lb of green coffee.

Peter Gaynor, Fairtrade Ireland Executive Director

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