This research, published in 2017, studies coffee farmer income in Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya, India, Indonesia and Vietnam, focusing on how much coffee farmers actually earn and Fairtrade’s potential impact on their household income. Fairtrade worked with True Price on an assessment of household income, using data collected by field staff at Fairtrade’s producer networks, and analysed using a farmer household income model.
The study found “on average about 50 percent of farmer household income results from coffee production. However, this percentage varies greatly per origin. Farmers in Indonesia rely heavily on income from coffee production whereas farmers in Kenya depend mainly on other sources of income. Other key contributors are sales of other crops and farm goods, and wages from other employment off the farm.”
It also found that “overall household income depends very much on the local context. This study shows that Indonesian and Vietnamese coffee farmers have the highest household incomes, mainly due to high income from coffee. Although Tanzanian farmers have the highest coffee profitability, this does not translate into high household incomes due to relatively low production volumes. While some Kenyan farmers are making a profit on their farms, on average Kenyan farmers produce coffee at a loss.”
On achieving a living income, the study found “on average those [coffee farmers] in India, Indonesia and Vietnam earn a living household income. Only Indonesian farmers currently earn a living household income from coffee production alone according to the study. Twenty-five percent of Indian farmers, almost 50 percent of Indonesian and Vietnamese farmers, and 100 percent of Kenyan farmers do not currently earn a living income.”
Finally, on a living wage for workers, the research found that “farmers in India and Indonesia are able to provide their hired workers with a living wage using their coffee income. In Kenya and Vietnam, this is not currently the case”
To read the study summary and two page briefing, click below.