Probably less than the percentage that can get snapped up by unscrupulous 'middle-men' in many other 'trade routes'. Obviously, the details will vary from place to place. I've got a lot of respect for the UK-based Fair Trade Foundation and, as a consumer, have found the quality of the products I have tried to be fine (certainly comparable to competing products in the same bracket). If you've got evidence that this mark hides malpractise, then I'd be very interested to hear it because at the moment I've got no reason to doubt their claims. However, I don't know, for example, exactly what 'fair trade' means in the US or who is behind it.topher said:Fair Trade...What percentage goes to the farmer and what percentage goes to the "Fair-Trade" organization for "administration costs" My other question is..If I can not sell my product at a price where I can survive...will there become an organization to help me feed my family..a "non-profit" fair roasters group?
I recognise that I've only got direct experience of the UK based organisation (and there only as a semi-informed consumer) so I was just being careful not to overstate my expertise. On the page:topher said:I was not insinuating that the fair trade foundation was corrupt...just was wondering how much actually goes to the farmer...As to the other comment....My point was if I can not make my business work...I need to find a new line of work....am I wrong on that?
but the price in the supermarket is directly comparable to equivalent products so I'm reasonably confident they're not skimming off the top (beyond reasonable costs).In 2003, Fairtrade producer groups are receiving three times the international price for robustas and double the international price for arabicas.
After all, there are plenty of examples where 'free' economies choose to buy goods from 'oppressive' economies because they benefit. Imagine the farmer in the neighbouring valley finds some way to sell his eggs for less than the production cost of the original farmers... while the ethical response would be to negotiate with the local suppliers to find an agreed realistic price level, the free approach would probably be to buy from the guy over the hill and force the first lot of farmers out of their jobs.
However, if some of the players have the economic wherewithal to artificially force their prices below the competition - which is somewhat easier if they're not the primary producers and don't suffer privations caused by a depressed market - then it's not so much an invisible hand of justice as a very heartless one that is ruling the market.The next time the farmers showed up at the market their prices were more inline with what the citizens thought was acceptable and the farmers sold everything they brought. After that the market was set and the markets flourished.
So what if the guy with the impossibly cheap eggs achieves this economic wonder by keeping thousands of chickens in tiny dark cages? It's over the hill so you don't suffer the sight and stench of the battery farm but does that mean that it's a better method than the free range farmers who live nearer to you?