We missed World Fair Trade Day. Apparently it was on May 14. Oh well, we don’t feel we missed much since we are have been quite skeptical about the whole “Fair Trade” shtick. But for those who care for fairness in trade we suggest a look at this article.
That fair-trade cup of coffee we savour may not only fail to ease the lot of poor farmers, it may actually help to impoverish them, according to a study out recently from Germany’s University of Hohenheim.
The study, which followed hundreds of Nicaraguan coffee farmers over a decade, concluded that farmers producing for the fair-trade market “are more often found below the absolute poverty line than conventional producers.
“Over a period of 10 years, our analysis shows that organic and organic-fair trade farmers have become poorer relative to conventional producers.”
Read the rest to find out why.
Some people however, never learn … or perhaps are more interested in the appearance of fairness than fairness itself.
“I still think the parishioners would feel better knowing that they were drinking fair-trade coffee.”
The author of this article came to much the same conclusion we did:
…in this well-intentioned pricefixing game, the fair-trade farmer is the pawn and the joke is on the customer.