I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus and count them but rubbish.

Is Fair Trade a Fair Trade?


 I will admit that I am a little short on my opinion of Fair Trade Products. Having been a passioned coffee drinker for awhile now I have come across the path of a few Fair Trade Coffee’s. I have had the Fair Trade Sumatran and now have some Ethiopian Sidamo in my pantry as I speak. Both of which I bought not b/c I wanted to help the local farmer but b/c they had a great taste.

Ok, the evil truth comes out. Who made it is not as important as how it tastes.

But I will admit to being someone who does at times feel for the common man. After all I am the common person. Course common here does not mean what it does in Mexico. So I have opened this topic up as a means of discussion and hope some will voice how they feel.

Here is what I know on the surface about FTC. Fair Trade Coffee is a part of the  Global Exchange. This is a global organization that attempts in their own words, “to end social injustices,” around the world. Most noted for us coffee lovers is to see that coffee farmers are given the fair price for their production of coffee. No doubt in a global market where the bottom line is very important there can be times when the local farmer is not given all he is worth. This is something, if a legitimate need, I agree with. Although we must be fair and understand that we are very much a capitalists society whether we like it or not, we should try to make sure that a hard working coffee farmer does not starve at the end of the day while I enjoy a nicety like coffee. Now in all fairness to what I will say in the next part I do want to link a couple sites here for you. One is FTC’s blog and the other is a FTC certified site.

 Now here is why I don’t like the FTC and its connection to the Global Exchange. The more I read it the more I see the Global Exchange as just another political organization who hides itself under the banner of some kind of “in it for the folks,” group. Many organizations do this with their own agenda’s.

Could it be that the FCT and Global Exchange have a hidden plan here. A plan that must hide under a smoke screen of compassion. What is that agenda? Looking at the information there does seem to be a slant toward the left side of the political spectrum. Though I am not here to judge I have seen that the more liberal side seems to be in it for the folks but out for their own agenda just like everyone else.

Again this blog is less me blasting them and more me wanting to see what the discussion will bring out. Some of you might not care, but to me there is no greater exploitation of someone than to use them to push your agenda. To put the poor farmers face on your website, blog or banners to hide the money grubbing CEO or political party behind the operations.

With that please feel free to put your thoughts in. I hope to learn from your thoughts and understand if indeed fair trade proves to actually and w/out underlying agenda, help the small farmer. 


One Response to “Is Fair Trade a Fair Trade?”

  1. I agree with you: I am always suspicious of altruistic corporate things. Like organic foods. you picture a little farmer squishing bugs by hand. turns out, it’s just the big guys who change the label to say “Gaia Farms” and manipulate the laws to look organic. i can’t help but wonder if the free trade stuff is not just starbucks by another name.

    Plus, i believe enough in the free market to know that in general the price will be set on demand. i buy based on price and taste. i’m already paying more for a better bean. if juan valdez (the actual guy with the burro) can make a better coffee than folgers, i will pay more. i will try to be responsible. but i won’t let some Algore type flying a private jet make me feel guilty for buying a cheaper brand or from a big distributor. now, if i find out that caribou is using slaves, i’ll quit buying, but short of that, i trust the market.

    Free trade Sumatran from Lex. Coffee was cheaper than the other, but didn’t taste as good. So, I’ll buy the regular Sumatran next time: ironic, getting the Corporate stuff at more because it’s better.

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