According to Transfair USA (www.transfairusa.org), an agency that certifies fair-trade practices, coffee is the second largest trade commodity in the world, next to oil. An estimated 80 percent of Americans drink coffee.
Ten years ago, the world coffee economy was worth $30 billion, of which producers received $12 billion. Today, it is worth $50 billion, with producers receiving just $8 billion, according to the Fair Trade Coffee Campaign of Global Exchange.
Last year, Starbucks became the first U.S. company to agree to a "code of conduct," promising it would tell its suppliers that in order to sell to Starbucks, they must pay workers a decent wage and respect their rights. Many gourmet coffee companies now offer fair-trade products, too, says Deborah James, fair trade director for Global Exchange, including the Bucks County Coffee Co. in Langhorne (800-523-6163). More are listed on the Global Exchange Web site (www.globalexchange.org).
This entry taken from a social justice quiz.