And here was me wondering which section to post my question...Is Fair Trade fair?
and this article on top of some other intersting discussions...
I guess as the the bigger players step into the market the relevance and importance either becomes more so, or too diluted, and the time is perhaps now ripe for a new standard to aspire to.
I know when we went down the FT path (aside from it not being a concept in the NZ market at that time) there was a lot of negativity around FT and organic, and one of our goals was to disprove this, I think we achieved this.
As we went down the path of specifying FT as a minimum, that caused a few head turns, as even then I was aware that the whole FT system had limitations and said so. But as a minimum standard there was no argument amongst those we dealt with. Equally my point on organics was not about anti pesticide (I am but thats irrelevant) it struck me as inherently unfair that we pay a pittance for coffee such that protective gear for farmers was not a priority, hence my statement that non organic fair trade coffee is not fair. Luckily in NZ we can use non certified organic
It was when we purchased some non FT coffee which was traced to the lot - and the farmer was paid from memory $1.60 USD / pound that the comment was made the FT rate at the gate was under a buck.
From that point forward I have had my unease about FT but have been happy to promote the idea, as it does provide at least a minimum playing field for grower. I still think that FT is important.
But. As the like of McCoffee track down the certified route, the question as to the fairness of fair trade has perhaps become an important one to ask.
A big question, and I realistically don't think there is a right or wrong answer, but tipping my hat to those that have launched down the path already, has transparency come of age?