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- 11-15-2012 05:15 PM #21
Fair trade doesn't exist at least not anymore in my opinion. My family has been growing coffee for the past 60 years and as the eldest grandson I decided to leave the USA once I graduated from college and learn first hand from my grandfather and uncle about my families coffee business needless to say going from Miami to Nicaragua was quite a change but my biggest surprise was just how crazy it is that here in the USA we get a false illusion of giving back or benefiting someone by buying something with a label I can assure you most coops that were certified fair trade are just trying to fill there contracts with the cheapest coffee possible they are filling containers that's their goal. Like someone else mentioned here direct trade is the only way to go that is the only way to truly do something beneficial for a origin country that's the only way to avoid all the sharks. Good news is most people are starting to realize this we had many visits to our farms while I was there and we are actively pursuing direct trade.
- 11-15-2012 05:15 PM # ADS
- 11-16-2012 11:23 AM #22
All very good comments.
Expat, what is your website so that we can have a look?
I was dismayed when I took a look at the real numbers of what it costs the farmers to become "fair trade,organic certified" etc. It takes them how long to recoup these costs if they are a small/micro grower? Most of these farmers can't afford the costs.
- 11-17-2012 09:36 AM #23
My business partner recently returned from a trip where he met the head of the country's coffee federation. He mentioned that the guy couldn't get the bad taste out of his mouth after a meeting with SB. As mentioned earlier in this forum, they beat you up soooooooo bad, they negotiate to the fraction of a cent. They don't care that some farmer's have taken more care and have a better bean. They want to buy it all (in the area), and they want it at this price..take it or leave it.
- 11-19-2012 03:45 AM #24
- 11-19-2012 11:41 AM #25
Wow expat that is a fantastic website. Very informative and your blogs are great too. Congratulations on this and your ability and quest to educate coffee drinkers.
- 11-19-2012 01:26 PM #26
I'm humbled! Thanks very much for the feedback.Wrinkles only go where the smiles have been -- Jimmy Buffett (via Mark Twain)
- 11-25-2012 02:47 PM #27
- 11-28-2012 01:37 PM #28
WMARK, I encourage all readers to follow the link in your post. I did clip this out of what I read . . .
The organic certification industry’s “dirty little secret,” they write, is that “organic crops and livestock are not tested in Canada before they are certified, thus making organic certification essentially meaningless.”
The organics industry rejects that notion and defends the integrity of its members and the system. “Organic farmers and processors undergo scrutiny with audits and inspections against Canada’s organic standards. The organic standards in Canada are very robust,” said Stephanie Wells, Senior Regulatory Affairs Advisor with the Canada Organic Trade Association.
The CFIA said organic products are subject to its regular chemical residue monitoring program, along with all other food products. The federal agency, itself, does not provide certification, but rather accredits private businesses to do it. Most are for-profit businesses.
“The greatest perversion lies in the fact that most CFIA-accredited organic certifiers also collect ‘royalties’ of between 1% and 3% on their clients’ gross revenue,” the Frontier Centre report says. “So, a certifier really has no incentive whatsoever to crack down on a client who might be breaking the rules.”
So basically this is the "Fox in the Hen House" part of the article on my website (which you can see here: More about Coffee with Conscience | Davenport Specialty Coffee RoastersDavenport Specialty Coffee Roasters).
All of this "organic" stuff has really become disheartening as the big retailers (think Wal*Mart) jump on board. Frankly, there just isn't enough organic food to go around. There aren't enough organic farmers in the U.S. to fill Wal*Mart's shelves as well as Whole Foods and so many others. So do you smell a rat?
And then folks like Whole Foods publicy confess that they've been misleading people and well, maybe what they were saying was organic really wasn't.
Then I read that the GMO folks are trying to get their crops labeled as "organic" so who can you believe anymore? Seems like everyone is in it for the almight buck.
Hopefully in other niches of agri-industry there are folks liks so many of the people in the coffee business that are blazing the tail of 'direct trade' and are shouting from the rooftops the truth about the sad state of Fairtrade and UTZ and Rain Forest Alliance and FSC and . . . the list of impostors goes on.
I really think we're in a war. I trust that the good guys will win or else we're all in deep do-do.Wrinkles only go where the smiles have been -- Jimmy Buffett (via Mark Twain)
- 12-08-2012 01:35 PM #29
A friend of mine is a food inspector and has access to testing results.
Some organic foods are really more harmful than non organic. The problem is that most consumers, while they mean well, have to invest far too much time in every single product.
ie bananas, no benefit in eating them over non organic BUT eating organic root vegetables reaps a great benefit as they are vastly sprayed and absorb much of the chemicals sprayed onto the soil.
Here in Canada, no difference in the testing results for organic and non organic chicken.
No difference in organic and non organic coffee...........in fact, alot of coffee, while not certified organic is in fact organic as the poor farmer can't afford shoes, nevermind chemical fertilizers and pesticides.
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