A campaign for honest coffee. Because the majority of millions of small-scale coffee farmers are living in severe poverty, below the threshold of €1.60 per day.

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The problem

In 2018, Fairfood initiated a campaign for honest coffee. The majority of millions of small-scale coffee farmers are living in severe poverty, below the threshold of €1.60 per day. The small-scale coffee farmers in Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, and Peru experience the most severe financial strains. A common difficulty that these small-scale farmers face is being forced to borrow money under unfavorable conditions. This prevents farmers from having any type of savings. With the lack of savings, this causes a detrimental result of lack of access to medical care. These farmers have the inability to pay their medical bills or afford transportation to visit doctors and medical clinics outside of their villages. This pressing economic situation also results in child labor and the excessive use of pesticides.

30 million cups

This is why Fairfood started the WAKEcUPCALL initiative in May 2018. Together with Dutch coffee drinkers, we are shaking up the coffee world. Altogether, Dutch coffee drinkers drink about 30 million cups of coffee every day. Something awesome that we discovered, with research conducted with Motivaction, is that just under half (44%) of Dutch consumers say they are willing to pay more for their coffee in order to guarantee that coffee farmers are paid a fair price. The responsibility now moves to the coffee brands, they need to guarantee that fair price. If they don’t, about 41% of the coffee drinkers say they will switch to a fairer brand. Isn’t this a great message to the big coffee brands?

A good example

Many beautiful things are happening in the wonderful world of coffee. The Netherlands counts many smaller specialty coffee brands with their own idealistic philosophies. Fair trade with coffee farmers is often high on their agendas. Therefore, we have joined forces with these forward thinking coffee brands who are setting a positive example in the world of Dutch coffee. We sat down with our “coffee ambassadors“, over a cup of the tastiest and most perfectly brewed coffee, to discuss issues and possible solutions with these brands. Together, we aim to show the big coffee brands that there is a better and fairer way to do business.

Low incomes and wages threaten the livelihoods of those who are dependent on coffee, as well as the viability of sector. Our report sheds a light on the biggest issues.

Download our coffee report

Blockchain coffee

Transparency is the new green

The WAKEcUPCALL wouldn’t be a Fairfood campaign without a solution-oriented outlook and a little innovation. We love solutions. As our director, Sander de Jong likes to say, “Transparency is the new way forward.” We want brands and supermarkets, who also believe in our vision for a fairer coffee trade, to not only tell the consumer that they are doing well but to actually demonstrate the differences they are making. Story proofing instead of storytelling. For this reason, we turn to blockchain.

See for yourself

Together with our partners, ID Coffees and Bext 360, we put 100 kilos of Colombian coffee on the blockchain. This allows you, the consumer, to see exactly where your coffee comes from and who earned money from your purchase.


The transparency that blockchains offer gives the various players in the production chain the opportunity to review these chains and gain new insights into their businesses. We believe that this is the beginning of a transformation in the coffee industry which is necessary for the more fair distribution of money within this chain. We hope that this project is a source of inspiration for the coffee industry and that transparent coffee will soon be available in all supermarkets.

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