Research and Resources

Want to know more about making trade Better-than-fair?

Read more about research and projects which give greater insights into the world of trade justice.

Will we have a combination here of research/resources about our projects AS well as interesting resources from other sources? Not too clear about this section yet.

Findings of East Timor Coffee Research

At its heart, fair trade is about nurturing long term trade relationships with those disadvantaged by mainstream trade. Fair trade is building a system based on mutual support and fairness.  Tradewinds’ current focus is on growing stronger relationships with coffee producers in East Timor (Timor-Leste).

Associated with this, three Tradewinds volunteers and University academics, Brett Inder, Katy Cornwell and David Lloyd, have been part of a large research project on the incomes and welfare of poor coffee producers in East Timor.  They interviewed over 800 coffee households, and many industry people.

Some striking findings

  • The average coffee-producing household lives on 31 cents per person per day.
  • In Timor-Leste, coffee yields per hectare are among the lowest in the world, about 20% of the global average for small-holder producers. 
  • Because coffee is an annual harvest, coffee farmers receive most of their income at one time of year.  In the non-harvest time, known as the "hungry months", 50% of households eat one meal per day (or less).

Research Conclusions

  • Poor coffee farmers need training and support from local people they trust, with a focus on improving yields and diversifying incomes.
  • Paying a higher price would give the economic incentives needed to enable significant improvements in yield and much higher incomes for farmers