Small coffee farms provide about 70 to 80 percent of the world's coffee production and most of these farmers are dependent on intermediaries. Often the intermediaries exploit the farmers, who often don't receive their full wage. In the Fairtrade-labelled coffee market, the coffee growers reap the benefits that they are rightfully owed in coffee production, and are able to survive during extensive periods of low coffee prices because their Fairtrade business relationships are long lasting.
When you buy Fairtrade coffee, the producer benefits both directly and indirectly. The Fairtrade price is comprised of a minimum price and a social investment premium. All the producers benefit from the higher price, and the members of the organisation democratically decide how the investment premium should be used to benefit the local community and strengthen the organisation.