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Coffee is one of the most valuable globally traded commodities, second only to oil. In 2011, global coffee consumption hit an all-time high of close to 18.5 billion pounds. The demand for coffee exports employs 25 million people in more than 50 countries. Of the $60 billion earned annually by the coffee industry, less than 10% makes its way back to the farmers.
Consumers can have an impact on fair wages and working conditions for farmers by purchasing coffee that is certified fair trade. Though the current certification system is far from perfect, it is important that consumers show they are willing to pay a premium for fairly traded products.
The following companies are going above and beyond the minimum requirements for fair trade certification.
Click next to begin.