Saturday, April 17, 2004

Why I don't care with "fair trade" coffee campaign

I am a coffee addict. Lately, all coffee houses that I go to offer "fair trade" coffee. Even Starbucks claim to only use coffee from fair trade (I don't buy their claim). The idea is to protect small coffee farmers. But I am always suspicious with this kind of "protection". Because there is always room for manipulation in the middle. And as this article notes, "...another sticking point inside the movement are the requirements for being certified. Germany's Fair Labeling Organization (FLO), which certifies all fair-trade coffee in the world, charges farmers $2,431 to certify plus an annual base of $607 for recertification and $.02 per 2.2 pounds of coffee sold under the fair-trade label..." And you say you're helping the poor farmers?

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