Friday, December 9, 2011

Fair Trade - My Take On It...

Photo Courtesy of Google Photobucket

It's the season to be jolly, carefree and generous... No better time to scour the weekend markets, holiday bazaars, and what have yous.

In one of my shopping sprees last week, I came across a local coffee roaster who claims his coffee is roasted fresh twice-weekly AND they practice FAIR TRADE. This got my noggins abuzz again (my spider senses tingling even) and after immediate consultation with several of my "coffee gods", here' s my two-cents' worth on the whole Fair Trade issue...

In a perfect world, Fair Trade's primary mission is to provide healthier working conditions and greater economic incentive for producers (farmers). The end-goal is to benefit and properly compensate them from their line of work - providing an improved working environment and better equipment in order to obtain vaster-yielding crops. Such is the system practiced by large and reputable companies like Starbucks, Green Mountain, and Nestle.

Locally though, it is difficult (close to impossible even) to judge whether the extra amount of money spent by the consumers acually go to the farmers. Simply said, not because it has a "Fair Trade" label it means your money will reach the supposed beneficiaries. Worse, Fair Trade is a powerful word misused and abuised  as a skillfully orchestrated marketing tactic by the roaster (or traders) in order to charge more, appealing to the buyer's soft spot.

So while we're into the festive mood of making lists and checking twice-even, it's good to be educated whether the coffee beans you are about to purchase are naughty or nice...♪♫♪ 


  1. Believe me Franklin, we wonder the same thing in the US! Does the extra money one pays for benefits, etc., actually go for that?

  2. Karl, this is just the tip of the iceberg... what about Organic stuff that we pay a hefty premium for ???! But that's another thing to blog about; perhaps Karl's Corner can take care of that.