act Coffee’s Bold Move to Empower Farmers with Higher Payments

Pact Coffee has raised its minimum payment beyond the new Fairtrade minimum of $1.80 per pound, setting it at $2 per pound for Arabica coffee from independent farmers who may not qualify for Fairtrade certification. This allows Pact to support quality-focused smallholder farmers while still meeting or exceeding the Fairtrade minimum pricing standards.

Pact Coffee has announced that it’s raised its minimum payment to farmers to $2 per lb of Arabica coffee, and this took effect on all contracts signed after August 2023.

The London speciality-coffee roaster was paying a minimum of £1.75 per lb before this point, and this change came at the same time as Fairtrade International’s price increase, which was up from $1.40 to $1.80 per lb. 

Prior to August 2023, the Fairtrade base price didn’t cover Fairtrade’s estimated cost of production for farmers, which was, based on the 2021 harvest, $1.76.  

Now, the Fairtrade minimum price covers the estimated cost of production, and certified farmers can also benefit from Fairtrade Premiums, which are additional sums of money invested in projects to improve productivity, climate adaptation, quality, infrastructure, and community services. 

Will Corby, Pact Coffee’s Director of Coffee and Social Impact, said:

“As coffee farmers face even tougher economic conditions due to climate change, increasing production costs and inflation, this is a massive change for good, and this is down to the fantastic work of the brilliant people at Fairtrade International.”

“But it’s not compatible with our sourcing model. Fairtrade requires that farmers join cooperatives to get certified. This doesn’t work for many of the small, independent farmers we’ve forged strong, mutually beneficial relationships with over a decade, and we’re sticking by them.”

“For some of these farmers, becoming Fairtrade certified would be too costly, require leaving their farms, and, ultimately, come at the expense of quality.”

“So we’ve instead raised our minimum price to $2 per pound to cover this increase while recognising the extra $0.20 Fairtrade Premium. As always, all of this will go directly to the farmer.”

“This way, we’re encouraging the pursuit of outstanding speciality coffee, while adhering to the Fairtrade Minimum Price and, in many instances, paying significantly more.”

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