Fair Trade Coffees?

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Fair Trade Coffees?

Postby MoreCoffee_Casey » Sat Mar 04, 2006 2:58 pm

Hi everyone. What do you think of Fair Trade Coffee? We will be carrying some FT coffees soon, but I'd like to get everyone's opinion. It's a bit of a process to get certified which is why it's taken so long.

Check out this article: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0, ... 74,00.html
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Postby borny » Tue Mar 07, 2006 5:59 pm

I think it's fair...

This is when the farm has to reinvest so much money to the comunity surrounding the farm? As home coffee roasters, this really doesnt' mean to much right? We will only end up paying something like an extra couple cents per cup....
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Postby MeadMeister » Tue Mar 07, 2006 6:14 pm

This is what I just read:

Bla bla bla, 5 cents per something goes back to community, bla bla bla

I'm not trying to imply anything about the program, just wondering if anyone can relate anything more tangible. Is this a 5 point sales adder that effectively goes into a community general fund? Isn't that essentially an export tax paid by the buyer?

Haven't these growers been around for eons? How has an apparently wild explosion in coffee consumption and presumably demand over the last 50, much less 200 years left the regions hurting?

It strikes me as a feel good marketing move, honestly. This Freetrade Foundation is obviously appealing to a moral impulse for their own business. I don't have a problem with them wanting business, "non-profit" (please don't say that w/o definition though) or not that's fine, but it hardly seems an unbiased source.

I'm not trying to troll here, but it seems these are the questions that matter but the information talks about "fair" and "community" in ways that are so broad they mean nothing. What are the specific needs? How is this program meeting those needs? Did they get wronged in some way this is compensation for?
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Postby Homegrown Hops » Tue Mar 07, 2006 10:23 pm

What the heck is Fair trade coffee? And, why should I buy it?
(needed to be asked)

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Postby stlbrewer » Fri Dec 22, 2006 9:10 pm

I'm a little late to the game with this, but MeadMeister brought up some good questions. At the highest level, fair trade pays farmers a living wage for their coffee. Dean's Beans has a decent explanation of how this works. Farmers are guaranteed a minimum price for their coffee, regardless of the "C" price.

Of course, it's not really that simple. Very few companies actually buy and sell 100% fair trade, and a lot of companies use the fair trade label mostly as a marketing gimmick. If you do your research and buy from a company that is close to 100% fair trade, then you are making a difference. Not to pimp Dean's Beans, but they are 100% fair trade and they have a list of ongoing projects here.
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Postby cooldaddybeck » Fri Feb 02, 2007 9:04 am

"Fair Trade" is a nice concept, but doesn't really do much in the end based on the research I did last year. I personally don't care whether it's fair trade or not.
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Postby Brewgonia » Fri Feb 02, 2007 9:28 am

Real stats would be nice.

I support free trade and getting what the market will bear for your product/service. However, I liken this to just about every charity organization where 90 cents out of every dollar goes to administration and 10 cents to the actual people that can use it.

Until I see more, that's all I got.
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Postby cooldaddybeck » Fri Feb 02, 2007 10:24 am

Brewgonia wrote:Real stats would be nice.

I support free trade and getting what the market will bear for your product/service. However, I liken this to just about every charity organization where 90 cents out of every dollar goes to administration and 10 cents to the actual people that can use it.

Until I see more, that's all I got.


I support capitalism too, but I'm wary of people jumping on the Free Trade wagon assuming that it's a good thing. Wish I had the info from last year, may have to track it down again. It showed both sides of the Free Trade deal, and let the reader make up their mind.
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Postby stlbrewer » Sat Feb 03, 2007 3:57 pm

cooldaddybeck wrote:"Fair Trade" is a nice concept, but doesn't really do much in the end based on the research I did last year. I personally don't care whether it's fair trade or not.


I'm interested in what you found in your research. Fair trade, when used/done properly, can benefit the farmers greatly. Buying fairly traded coffee from a company that works directly with the farmers and deals in 100% fair trade coffee/tea/chocolate/whatever is the key. Buying from a company who buys only 10% fair trade coffee from someone else who bought it from someone else, etc. has less effect. The more hands involved, the more you pay, the less the farmer benefits from fair trade. You start to wonder how a $1.26 pound of fairly traded coffee is costing you $12. I encourage you to read the link I posted above to see what fair trade can accomplish.

I pay around $3/lb ($4/lb with shipping) when buying coffee from Dean's Beans. Out of that $3, I know that $1.41 went directly to the farmer - because it's listed in their fair trade audit. I'm just using Dean's Beans as an example because that's where I buy and that's what I know. Personally, I buy only fair trade for home use and on the rare occasion I buy coffee at a shop, I choose fair trade if available.
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Postby Mark » Sat Feb 03, 2007 4:35 pm

I wasn't impressed with DB's selection of green beans and I could do without the holier-than-thou spin they put on almost all there pages.

Ex. "...I like this better than Jamaican (and the farmers don't get abused)"

This coming from a guy that is likely wearing Levi's and a par of Air Jordan's standing next to his wife who's wearing a Cathy Lee Gifford blouse.

It's a nice concept in theory but you don't have to be so in everyone's face about it.

Still looking for other sources of beans.
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Postby Brandon » Sun Feb 04, 2007 3:30 pm

Mark wrote:
This coming from a guy that is likely wearing Levi's and a par of Air Jordan's standing next to his wife who's wearing a Cathy Lee Gifford blouse.



LOL....What a mental image :lol: :lol: :lol:
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