We want to talk about coffee. The reason for this is the Coffee Barometer 2018’s shocking conclusion that Fairtrade does not give farmers an extra penny. Or shocking? An investigation by African and Dutch journalists into practices in the cocoa industry, co-initiated and published by ZAM in 2013, came to the same conclusion. Interviews with 200 farmers in West Africa, supported by data research by Dutch colleagues, showed that Fairtrade was a rip-off of the western consumer, and no good – in some cases just bad. For your convenience, the link to this investigatiion will be included in this magazine newsletter.
The research represented an innovative approach that effectively underminded one of the major misunderstandings of today: that Fairtrade is fair.
At the time, quite a few people asked us: What is left to support if you want the best for farmers? Well, for starters, more people are finding their way to local unions of small farmers and farm workers. There are also entrepreneurs who buy directly from the farmers and pay a considerably higher price.
But our core business at ZAM is to support investigative journalists who shatter lies and stereotypes. The AIPC-ZAM Story Fund welcomes your donations. We will continue to open eyes and build real solidarity.