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  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2003

    fair trade? fair or not fair?

    I don't really understand what Fair Trade does or what it hopes to accomplish? Does anyone understand this idea of 'Fair Trade' Coffee?

    I understand the basics of what Fair Trade is and what it does... but I don't understand how it makes a better coffee? Does it? Or is it just a bullying tactic by certain coffee growers to make the consumer feel guilty if they are not buying their 'Fair Trade' coffee? (that doesn't seem fair!)

    It just seems to me that whether a coffee is 'Fair Trade' or not is sort of arbitrary.

    I would greatly appreciate people's comments!

    Coffeemaker: Bunn Home Brewer GR10-B
    Grinder: laPavoni PGC
    Roaster: Fresh Roast +8
    Favorite Coffee: Indonesian Celebes (the more earthy the better!)

  2. #2
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Tucson, AZ
    I like the idea of Fair Trade, but as far as coffee quality, I'm pretty sure that any estate coffee or a proper blend will make a fair trade coffee taste like Truck Stop coffee. When they include quality into the small farmer mentality of the program, I'll start buying.

  3. #3

    What is Fair Trade Coffee?

    What is Fair Trade with coffee? What does it mean and how does it work? Sorry for not knowing I figure someone can share with me!

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    New Jersey
    according to ... de/coffee/

    "To become Fair Trade certified, an importer must meet stringent international criteria; paying a minimum price per pound of $1.26, providing much needed credit to farmers, and providing technical assistance such as help transitioning to organic farming."

    Basically it has nothing to do with the coffee whatsoever. When you buy fair trade coffee, you are able to feel less guilty about 3rd world sweatshops, in that you are knowingly supporting farmers better. Or something.

  5. #5

    Fair Trade- is it bogus?

    It's great that people are talking about fair trade. The beauty of the internet is that everyone is welcome to research any topic they'd like (time willing) I already know a great deal about fair trade becuase i roast for Central Coffee Roasters and we purchase quite a few Fair Trade beans ( even though we are not fair trde certified, yet) Here is some info from the TransFair US website, notice the last line about the environment:

    A guarantee that clearly defined criteria were met in the production and trade of agricultural commodities. The international Fair Trade criteria for coffee, the leading Fair Trade Certified product worldwide, are:

    A Fair Price: Producer cooperatives are guaranteed a fair price (a floor price of US$1.26 per pound or 5 cents above the prevailing market price; US$1.41 for certified organic coffee or 15 cents above the market price)
    Democratic Organization: Producers must belong to cooperatives or associations that are transparent and democratically controlled by their members
    Direct Trade and Long Term Relationships: Importers must purchase coffee directly from Fair Trade certified producers and agree to establish long- term and stable relationships
    Access to Credit: When requested by producers, importers must provide pre-harvest financing or credit (up to 60% of each order)
    Environmental protection: Producers must implement integrated crop management and environmental protection plans. Through price incentives, producers are encouraged to work towards organic production

    There are some wonderful High Grade Arabica Fair Trade coffees that are far better than any of the Starbucks ar Green mountain "micro roasters" types out there. Quite a few producers are organic which will also create better tasting cups.

    As far not supporting sweatshops, notmuffy, you should think about your Starbucks plastic coffee cup collection and where they are coming from.
    Thanks for the forum and have a great day!

  6. #6

    my apologies

    Sorry notmuffy, your collection of mugs is not plastic, but they are made in China.

    you can trade mugs too!

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    New Jersey
    Hey, I never said anything about my involvement or outlook on fair trade. I was just answering someone's question.
    As far as the trading mugs thing -- LOL! I can't believe there's a whole web site for that! I only want to get ones for cities that I have been to. (Today's mug is "Chicago"). And it is true that I don't use the plastic/paper cups when I go to Starbucks. I finally found the BEST non-leak, stainless steel coffee mug! It is actually from Starbucks, but for the longest time they didn't sell closed-hole mugs. I'm sure that was made in China as well. With all the coffee I drink though I'm sure I've saved at least ten trees from not using paper cups!



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