The United States consumes one-fifth of all the world's coffee, making it the largest consumer in the world. But few Americans realize that agriculture workers in the coffee industry often toil in what can be described as "sweatshops in the fields." Many small coffee farmers receive prices for their coffee that are less than the costs of production, forcing them into a cycle of poverty and debt.
Global Exchange’s Fair Trade Campaign’s main corporate campaigns on coffee were:
Victories in both campaigns helped catalyze an explosion in consumer awareness of and demand for Fair Trade products, and triggered a domino effect in the coffee industry that brought Fair Trade to cafes and store shelves nationwide.
After these victories, we turned our focus to Fair Trade cocoa.