Thinking about Fair Trade Gifts?

Nov 22 17:17 2008 boake moore Print This Article

Fair trade goods tend to sell for a bit more than similar "mainstream" products. Many consumers believe that conventional international-trade systems are unjust. To them, the quality of the goods they buy is enhanced by the assurance that foreign workers have not been brutalized producing them, and they are willing to pay a bit more. Yet in most cases the coffee labeled fair trade is a inferior quality not a superior quality.

To most people Fair-trade means that people in poorer countries who grow or make what we buy get a good price,Guest Posting a decent wage and good working conditions. There are over 100 F. T. products, including tea, coffee, fruit juice, bananas, mangoes and chocolate. The range grows daily. It is possible to find certified shoes, toys and even footballs. By buying these F.T goods, the consumer thinks they can play a part in ensuring that the poor of the undeveloped world aren't exploited.

Unfortunately concept and reality is not the same thing in terms of Fair Trade. So if you want to make a purchase that really helps someone that is a socially good thing to do buy one of the charity supported coffees that support orphans or homeless children. Unfortunately the logo is often just sold without any proof the end farmers are getting the extra money. Worse yet there is no requirement that the farmer has to be poor - so huge land barons and large companies can own the coffee farm and get Fair Trade certified? So in most cases you are only helping the rich get richer. Ever look at a map showing the location of where the address is of the F. T. Company. Think about this - over 90% of the Fair Trade companies are in the US?

Here is another thought. Most third world countries the people are extremely poor. Only the wealthiest people in a third world country own land. The richest of these rich own land that produces income i.e. a producing farm or mineral producing tract of land or quarry. So in that third world country by far the richest people are the ones who own a farm. True they may not be rich by our standards but they are richer by far than 95% of their fellow countrymen. So if you just focus on the 5% of certified farmers who are located in a third world in reality you are also helping the richest people in that country - the people who need the help the least.

Lastly and most disturbing is the company that markets Fair Trade. TransFair describes its logo fees as amounting to just pennies on the pound. Those pennies add up. Last year, it generated $1.89 million in licensing fees from companies that used the logo. It also spent $1.7 million on salaries, travel, conferences and publications for the 40-employee organization. And they DID NOT donate one penny to poor farmers - the guys they are marketing to help. Now is that really Fair? Fair Trade - yea right!

So now why would you buy FT gourmet coffee? It can't be because they are helping the poor third world pheasant you are picturing. Did you say you bought Fair Trade because the quality was better? Unfortunately just because it cost more does not mean it's even better. In fact the opposite is true - most F. T coffees are a worse quality. There are hundreds of coffee companies who could not sale their coffee because it was a poor quality. But then the coffee exporter bought a Fair Trade logo and the sales went through the roof and wow that was easier than improving the quality of the coffee. But again nothing was done to improve its quality - all they need to do is show they are paying a higher price for the coffee - they don't have to prove who they are paying or how the money is distributed. So please check out that Fair Trade coffee before you buy them. The logo means nothing - they are easily bought. Look at their web site for PROJECTS and PROGRAMS they have implemented. Don't just go by the standard "Fair Trade Marketing Ploy" that says Fair Trade helps poor farmers - find their actual farmers they are helping - check to see what farmers they are really helping. If not you know it's just a "bought logo". Then find you a social conscious coffee or charity coffee and feel good that you are really helping people.So don't blindly buy Fair Trade gifts - please be sure your gourmet coffee is more than a pretty wraping.

Now isn't that a staisfying cup of coffee?

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boake moore
boake moore

Boake Moore owns a great gourmet coffee company called Mission Grounds - that donates all its profits to helping homeless children and orphans. Purchase your Holiday gift from Mission Grounds and help a homeless child.

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