Fairtrade International & Bellwether Coffee expand living income pricing to coffee farms in Guatemala

Continuing its work to end the ongoing poverty crisis in coffee growing regions, Bellwether Coffee has announced its partnership with Fairtrade International to implement Fairtrade’s Living Income Reference Price in Guatemala.

Working alongside Bellwether and Fairtrade International to develop Living Income Pricing for Guatemala are La Coordinadora Latinoamericana y del Caribe de Pequeños(as) Productores(as) y Trabajadores(as)  de Comercio Justo (CLAC), La Asociación de Cooperación al Desarrollo Integral de Huehuetenango (ACODIHUE), and Sustainable Harvest Coffee Importers.

In April 2021, Bellwether signed the first-ever coffee contract based on Living Income Pricing in partnership with Heifer International and Sustainable Harvest. That pilot with ASOPEP in Colombia was called Verified Living Income, and set the stage for its current commitment to expand living income to Guatemala.

“We’ve made it our mission to partner with values-aligned organizations committed to ending poverty in the Coffeelands by paying coffee producers equitable prices based on living income. Our goal at Bellwether is to expand Living Income Pricing across all of our supply chains by 2025,” said Grayson Caldwell, senior sustainability manager at Bellwether Coffee.

To develop the Living Incoming Reference Price for Guatemala, CLAC worked directly with ACODIHUE to collect primary data on the cost of production, land size, and productivity levels of coffee producers to establish a baseline and agree on a reference price that will support closing the living income gap for producers in the association. The 2022 reference price for ACODIHUE is $3.40 per pound of coffee, which is 13 percent higher than the last contract Bellwether signed. Bellwether is committed to sourcing on Fairtrade terms as well as paying the price revealed in the data evaluation through its importing partner, Sustainable Harvest.

Fairtrade International’s living income strategy has sustainable procurement practices, including the payment of a Living Income Reference Price or LIRP, as a critical enabler of sustainable livelihoods for smallholder farmers. This is why building new partnerships with supply chain stakeholders remains vital to crafting a trade system that is fair for all. You can read more about Fairtrade International’s living income methodology and strategy at www.fairtrade.net.

“Fairtrade has long been committed to delivering a living income to the world’s smallholder farmers and enabling decent livelihoods for them is a key pillar of our global strategy,” said Senior Advisor for Sustainable Livelihoods at Fairtrade International, Carla Veldhuyzen. “This is our vision for the planet and it’s also one reason why Fairtrade continues to be the world’s leading certification for social justice and sustainability.”

ACODIHUE in Guatemala is Bellwether’s second sourcing partner where contracts will be signed based on Living Income Pricing. These coffees will be available to all Bellwether customers on December 8, 2022. As a result, Bellwether roaster customers will be able to transparently share with their own customers the price, methodology, and impact their purchases are making on farmer livelihoods and their communities.

“The volatile C-market price continues to threaten coffee producers and their families,” said chief coffee officer at Sustainable Harvest, Jorge Cuevas. “In the past 12 months, we’ve seen the market reach a record high and suddenly take a sharp downturn, resulting in chaos at origin. Coffee producers deserve a better mechanism to price their coffee, one that covers their production costs, provides a sustainable livelihood and incentivizes the next generation of coffee producers to run their farms instead of migrating.”

“We are happy to have commercial partners like Bellwether using Fairtrade’s living income methodology to promote sustainable livelihoods for farmers in Latin America and the Caribbean,” said CLAC´s commercial director, Joao Mattos. “We hope to strengthen our commercial relations in the future to benefit more coffee farmers and Fairtrade certified organizations”

Bellwether and its partners believe that coffee prices rooted in living incomes create more economic stability for coffee producers. Long term, paying Living Income Pricing helps close the living income gap for farmers, ensuring economic stability in the Coffeelands. For more information on Bellwether and Fairtrade International’s living income pricing, visit www.bellwethercoffee.com/living-income-pricing/.

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