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  • Jon Ferguson

Equitable Trade For All?

Updated: Nov 24

In recent weeks, the New York Coffee C Futures for March 2023 has hovered above the currently established Fairtrade International floor price of 140ct/lb USD. As producers and buyers experience trading during a steady decline in the market, conversations on the importance of floor price, inflation, and benefits of fair trade certifications once again take center stage.


Even as the C market reached well above $1.40ct/lb over the last several years, many coffee traders, roasting companies, fair trade producers, and coffee-drinking consumers remained dedicated to the global equity movement by continuing to support fair trade organizations which invested their dollars towards additional social and organic premiums.


ElevaFinca supports all qualities and certifications which are offered by cooperatives. Yet, the main vision and focus continue to remain on promoting the engagement and inspiration of a global coffee community to further invest in fair trade and certified organic coffees. As many consumers and buyers learn to adjust their business practices to deal with inflation, justifications for companies to further invest in fair trade premiums can be a daunting decision. Added to the stressors of inflation, many fair trade critics continue to advocate for better pricing and communication with coffee producers, often pointing to the challenges of monitoring, managing, and marketing certification platforms.


Didier Mercado, Santa Marta, Colombia


The most dedicated advocates for social and economic equity can easily be distracted from witnessing the overall impact fair trade practices have had on coffee-producing communities. Having a dialog focusing only on the imperfections of the international fair trade movement may also influence participants to justify their detachment from supporting the certification process. These conversations may often convince companies to develop additional measures to ensure their own purchasing practices achieve equitable trade. Unfortunately, attempts to establish and manage in-house certification platforms often develop and replicate similar challenges which already exist within fair trade platforms. As we all strive for a better world, re-inventing the same wheel only delays the process of repairing the wheels that are already in motion. Accepting imperfections, and re-evaluating what success looks like for progress can quickly make fair trade look quite impressive to the alternatives.


While ElevaFinca supports the sale of all quality grades, certifications, and conventional production, we continue to strongly advocate for commitment, trust, hope, and determination within the global community to strive for equitable trade for all.



COLOMBIA As many of those who work with ElevaFinca know of the strong relationships with suppliers in Peru, we would like to continue to highlight details about our second investment project in northern Colombia with fair trade and organically certified producers.

Below is a brief summary of the RioSierra Project located near Santa Marta, Colombia;

  • Total investment: 8.2 million USD

  • Duration: 13 years

Funds are currently invested in the following activities

  • Financing 4,500 hectares in agroforestry systems

  • Conservation of 70,000 hectares of forest

  • Dry Mill Construction with a capacity of 79,000 70-kilo bags annually

  • Biofertilization with a capacity of 100,000 bags of 50 kilos annually

  • Technical teams reinforcing quality control, forest management, and governance

  • Beekeeping and honey production plant with a capacity of 450 tons per year.

  • Generation of 1,300,000 carbon credits


ElevaFinca is currently positioned with small producer organizations within the project scope. As Colombia continues to present fresh crop offers from the Santa Marta area, ElevaFinca maintains up-to-date offering sheets for referencing daily. When contracts are managed through ElevaFinca, these contracts directly support and maintain investments with the producer organizations to help realize and continue the successful investments listed above. ElevaFinca continues to look for long-term relationships to benefit producers participating in these project activities.


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