Coffee will get you going in the morning, pull you out of an afternoon slump, or help you survive an all-nighter. But your caffeine fix can also help others if you buy Fair Trade Certified beans or support those who do.

There are thousands of Fair Trade Certified products from food to furniture. To be Fair Trade Certified, products must be made according to standards that ensure workers, their communities, and the environment are not being exploited. 

Since its founding in 1998, Fair Trade USA has empowered nearly one million workers and sent $610 million back to them and their communities. With more than 1,250 businesses selling Fair Trade Certified Products, it’s easy to get what you want from a company that cares about the people who make it.

This has become especially important to coffee growers as coffee bean prices have dropped to 10-year lows of less than $1 per pound — which isn’t even enough to cover the cost of producing it. 

Fair Trade producers receive a minimum price of $1.40 per pound ($1.70 if it’s organic), protecting them from price fluctuations that would otherwise wipe them out. Producer groups also receive an additional 20 cents per pound that they can use to invest in their communities.

Laughing Man® Coffee has made social responsibility part of its mission from the start. Actor Hugh Jackman, a co-host again this year of the Global Citizen Festival in Central Park, co-founded Laughing Man® Coffee in 2011 after he was inspired by a coffee farmer he met during a trip to Ethiopia. Laughing Man® Coffee always sources its beans from Fair Trade Certified co-ops and gives back in other ways, too. Jackman donates all of his profits to the Laughing Man Foundation.

The Laughing Man Foundation and Fair Trade USA recently partnered up to invest in the COOCENTRAL Cooperative in Huila, Colombia. So far, this partnership has given its members new floors, roofs, and sanitary facilities through its housing improvement program and provided college scholarships through its higher education scholarship program.

So, before you fire up your coffee maker, make sure the beans you put in it are Fair Trade Certified and make every cup count!


Demand Equity

How Your Daily Caffeine Fix Can Have a Meaningful Impact

By Michelle Parish