jpscoffee said:Buy it from a coffee farmer. Or from a roaster that does.
Do you even know what fair trade coffee is? Have you any facts beyond the hype you are repeating?what about other several million people who are consumers of non fair-trade coffee on daily basis and are possibly not even aware of that fact.
What issue are you talking about?How is possible to rise awareness around this issue
How do you know this? At what level is it the most profitable? Are you a store owner? Are you a roaster? Are you a coffee broker?Coffee industry is one of the most profitable industries
What problem?Can medias such asTV, film or use of any other media help in increasing the consciousness about this problem???
Fairtrade Coffee Does Little to Help Coffee Farmers in Developing Countries
Contact: Lura Forcum, Mercatus Center, (703) 993-4960 or [email protected]
Study available at www.mercatus.org/fairtradecoffee
Arlington, VA, June 21, 2007Buying Fairtrade coffee may ease your conscience and line the pockets of coffee retailers, but it does little to improve the lives of coffee farmers and laborers in developing countries. According to a study by Colleen Berndt, published by the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, coffee marketed as “Fairtrade” fails to provide financial benefit to farmers, while imposing significant costs. In her report, “Is Fairtrade in Coffee Production Fair and Useful: Evidence from Costa Rica and Guatemala and Implications for Policy”, Berndt - who is a lecturer in economics at San Jose State University argues that the program serves as little more than a hedge for coffee farmers.
What is the benefit of being a Fairtrade coffee farmer?
About three cents. In exchange for obtaining certification from the Fairtrade Labeling Organization’s (FLO), coffee farmers in developing countries can sell their coffee at a price that is about US$0.03 higher than the regular coffee market. However, coffee farmers only reap this benefit for about 20% of their coffee crop because that’s all that Fairtrade buyers currently purchase. The rest is sold on the unregulated market at a lower price.
While this isn’t helping coffee farmers much, it’s helping the very poorest participants of the coffee trade even less. Owners of coffee farms have some capital, but the migrant workers who provide most of the labor are far more impoverished. FLO requires that these workers be paid a minimum wage, but actual wages aren’t monitored so migrant workers probably aren’t seeing their fair share.
What are the costs of being a Fairtrade coffee farmer?
In order to sell to Fairtrade buyers, coffee farmers must organize themselves into cooperatives. The members must then follow FLO’s guidelines and pay the organization to monitor their compliance. In addition, the farmers, many of whom are barely literate, are required to keep detailed records about the co-op’s decision-making and distribution of profits in order to maintain certification.
There are other, less direct costs as well. Although FLO says that its goal is to help farmers become “financially secure and self sufficient,” its own requirements work against that goal. For example, co-op farmers are prevented from owning more than 12 acres of land and employing any full-time employees. While this may keep large coffee plantations from profiting from the price floor, it also discourages smaller coffee farmers from expanding their businesses.
How is Fairtrade acting as a hedge?
In developed financial markets, there are various tools to distribute risk. They range from simple crop insurance to more complex forms of risk buying and selling in futures and commodities markets. Coffee farmers lack access to these types of tools, which is what makes a Fairtrade co-op appealing. Fairtrade enables farmers to benefit from the price floor when the market is down, and sell to the unregulated market when prices are higher.
And since the co-op isn’t required to sell any amount of coffee to Fairtrade buyers, the farmers are inclined to sell their poor-quality beans where there is a price floor, and their higher-quality beans on the unregulated market. That’s something to think about the next time you order a venti-Fairtrade-mocha-ccino-frappe from your favorite coffeehouse.
The Mercatus Center at George Mason University is a research, education, and outreach organization that works with scholars, policy experts, and government officials to connect academic learning and real world practice. The mission of Mercatus is to promote sound interdisciplinary research and application in the humane sciences that integrates theory and practice to produce solutions that sustainably advance a free, prosperous, and civil society.
[/quote]Two houses... different stories
An Inconvenient Truth: A Tale of Two Houses
A 20 room mansion (not including 8 bathrooms) heated by natural gas. Add on a pool (and a pool house) and a separate guest house, all heated by gas. In one month this residence consumes more energy than the average American household does in a year. The average bill for electricity and natural gas runs over $2,400. In natural gas alone, this property consumes more than 20 times the national average for an American home. This house is not situated in a Northern or Midwestern "snow belt" area. It's in the South.
Designed by an architecture professor at a leading national university. This house incorporates every "green" feature current home construction can provide. The house is 4,000 square feet (4 bedrooms) and is nestled on a high prairie in the American Southwest. A central closet in the house holds geothermal heat-pumps drawing ground water through pipes sunk 300 feet into the ground. The water (usually 67 degrees F.) heats the house in the winter and cools it in the summer. The system uses no fossil fuels such as oil or natural gas and it consumes one-quarter electricity required for a conventional heating/cooling system. Rainwater from the roof is collected and funneled into a 25,000 gallon underground cistern. Wastewater from showers, sinks and toilets goes into underground purifying tanks and then into the cistern. The collected water then irrigates the land surrounding the house. Surrounding flowers and shrubs native to the area enable the property to blend into the surrounding rural landscape.
HOUSE #1 is outside of Nashville , Tennessee ; it is the abode of
the "environmentalist," Al Gore.
HOUSE #2 is on a ranch near Crawford , Texas ; it is the residence the of the President of the United States , George W. Bush.
An "inconvenient truth."
Black gold does not give you the whole story. Here is a bit on Ethiopian coffee that they did not talk about. Back in 2005 and 2006, a bunch of roasters bought some awesome Ethiopian beans through eCafe Foundation auction - at pretty high prices. 2005 when very well and we were all happy. So we came back for more in 2006, prices paid were way above market price, I think the average was above $4.00 a pound for greens. In case you don't know, commodity arabica (C Market) at the time was traded at about $1.00 a pound, and TransFair minimum was, and still is $1.21 a pound. (BTW, C Market is now at $1.28, higher than TransFair minimum) Those were great beans, and most money was suppose to go directly to the farmers. This would have been a great way for smaller roasters who cannot fly to different producing countries but want to buy beans directly for quality, for cause or maybe both. So after the auction settled, everyone was happy, that is until we couldn't get the beans out of Ethiopia due to whatever messiness they had over there. Those great tasting beans sat at Ethiopian warehouse for 6 months before they were released. By the time they got over here they were old beans with borderline quality. Although we had the option to decline the beans, most accepted their allotments. So we paid a lot for a bunch of old average beans. Needless to say there's no eCafe auction in 2007. This year I bought some pretty darn good Ethiopian through importers at about $2.00 a pound. It works out great for me, I paid half of the price and none of the headache for better quality beans. Guess who truly lost out? And more importantly who's at fault?ella said:Thank you jpscoffee for posting this press release for me.
You are right- I am not an expert for this issue however I did get into this discussion quite honestly and with a hart because I recently saw documentary film called BLACK GOLD about struggle to keep Ethiopian coffee farmer from Western exploitation. It’s quite scandalous story and very powerful film. I would really recommend it to anyone. I saw it in the cinema in the UK but it will be released soon in the UK on DVD but if you did not see it i think it's possible to buy it online as well.
Here is the web site: www.blackgoldmovie.com
Hahaha, don't even get me started on fake teas in China.Alun_evans said:EPD, why do you think it is that god, when doing his creation thing, put coffee, oil and gas in places which were geographically inaccessible, politically corrupt and rife with disease and pestilence? Maybe he drank tea methinks :wink: Reading the Ethiopia story it could well be nearly any other producing country, with few exceptions! Believe me...red tape, bribery, truck hijackings, containers illegally impounded...it all happens! Actually if the stories at origin came attached to the containers, you would have enough tales to dine off for the rest of your life.