Thursday, June 5, 2014

Confusion over Fair Trade


With Media, PA being America's first Fair Trade town, interesting findings from a recent UK study.


theguardian.com, Sunday 25 May 2014
A UK government-sponsored study, which investigated the production of flowers, coffee and tea in Ethiopia and Uganda, found that "where Fairtrade flowers were grown, and where there were farmers' groups selling coffee and tea into Fairtrade certified markets, wages were very low".

Researchers who collected detailed information on more than 1,500 people said they also found evidence of the widespread use of children being paid to work on farms growing produce for Britain's leading ethical label.

http://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2014/may/24/fairtrade-accused-of-failing-africas-poor

17 comments:

  1. Barely surprising. Still , let's make sure we keep those ridiculous signs in place at the gateways, and continue to force it on the kids at the elementary school because it's a feel good measure, right?

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    1. Agreed! Why is this political garbage being fed to my kid at a taxpayer funded school? If I choose to allow Hershey bars in my house (PA and USA company!) why should my child be made to feel guilty for bringing it to school? I have witnessed first hand the schpiel (sp?) that is given to the elementary kids and it should not be taking place in our schools, period.

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  2. Anyone who supports Fair Trade would take great concern in an article like this. Still, I can't understand the hostility you feel toward an international effort that aims to reduce famine, help the environment, and better working conditions around the world. Teaching children to know where the things they buy come from and how they are produced is, at the heart, a good thing.

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  3. Children working these jobs is not very surprising because child labor is a very acceptable practice throughout the developing world. Poor families often see the work their children do as critical to their family's income. One would hope that a social justice sourcing company would try to reduce the use of suppliers that employ the practice, but fairly treated child workers are better than poorly treated child workers.

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  4. Children (under age 16) legally work on farms in the USA - long hours, low wages and terrible conditions. Why should it be looked down on elsewhere?

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  5. Fair Trade---Green Energy----Sustainable Living-----Farm to Table----- all just a bunch of crap that Liberals say to make themselves feel better as they drive their SUV's, sip on Starbucks, and relax in their 750,000.00 Toll Brother homes. Purely pathetic drivel that they spoon feed each other to feel special. Go raise some chickens and organize to legalize hemp but stop telling me what coffee to buy and that i can't be a man because i don't smoke the same cigarettes as you.

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    1. Agreed. Farm to table might be the biggets joke of all. It is totally inefficient, and if you project it over a material portion of the food chain it will result in either (1) dramatic clearing needed to expand the proprtion of land dedicated to agriculture, (2) mass starvation or (3) both. And you think you are helping the global village?

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  6. Fair Trade is nothing more than a marketing scam. Most of the biggest purchasers of coffee have left this organization for Direct Trade. Ironically, Fair Trade has become exactly what it set out to prevent: UNFAIRNESS!

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  7. I believe we are all given the choice to buy what we want. If you don't want fair trade products, don't buy them. If you don't want mass marketed products, don't buy them. If you feel good about your own choice, there's no need to shame one another.

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    1. Agreed that is the whole point!!!! How many Media RESIDENTS really care about Fair Trade? Who decided to name MEDIA the First Fair Trade Town it is a JOKE do not force your LIBERAL views down my throat as a resident and tax payer. I thought Media was "Everybody's Hometown" not just the Home Town of affluent starry eyed chicken raising Liberals.

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    2. That’s exactly right, Anon, there’s no need to shame one another. So why is the borough spending our tax money, promoting and subsidizing marketing for specific “fair trade” business (and not others) and passive aggressively pushing this bogus “feel good” movement on us? Isn’t that EXACTLY what their doing when you say “no need to shame one another?” Media’s “First Fair Trade Town”, which news reports and research are finding is a JOKE, is an embarrassment to this community. Take the signs down!

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  8. Really? Was State Street a flourishing hub of small business before fair trade? How many restaurants existed before fair trade? I think the results speak for themselves. Love it or leave it.

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    1. Brilliant are you really trying to say FAIR TRADE is the reason for Media's restaurants?
      Lets see did Fair Trade bring in:

      The Plumstead
      John's Grille
      Apollos
      Pinocchios
      Little Anthony
      Margaret Quo
      Planet Hoagie
      Quotations
      Stephens
      Fast and Fancy
      Shere Punjab
      Custom Bagel
      Koffee Korner
      Sligo
      Picasso

      These were all established in Media before Fair Trade --- some of them may now offer a token Fair Trade item so they are not ostracized by the LIBERALS that have taken over Media but Fair Trade did not bring them to Media

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    2. Keep CAPITALIZING the word LIBERALS, just so we know where your loyalties lie.

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    3. Just calling a spade a spade and a LIBERAL well like Forrest Gump said STUPID IS AS STUPID does............................now go feed your chickens

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  9. All the talk about pro/anti-Fair Trade, does anyone even realize that Media had not one but two food coops in the past 40-50 years. Anyone who cared enough to support the local economy would have done something to support these establishments and prevent them from going out of business. But NO, you people with your warped politics and sense of economics, chose not support either of those establishments and instead let both go out of business by continuing to shop at Trader Joes! Don't get me started on the stupid idea/bad implementation that has come to be the "Farmers Market".
    I moved to Media a few years ago specifically because it was a "Fair Trade" town but quickly realized supporting the local economy was a far more important cause to align myself with. As someone who was very involved in most recent coop to go out of business, Selene Whole Foods Coop, I can honestly say that not one of you townspeople has walked the walk when comes to supporting the local economy - this includes those "liberals" as you call them who are on the council or the opposite end of the spectrum - those who write/follow this blog. SHAME ON ALL OF YOU!

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  10. You make some good points and I respect what you have to say. I do what I can to support local business in Media every chance I get but can do a better job if I make a few changes. I am of the opinion at this point that fair trade is not all it is cracked up to be and is just something people talk about to make themselves feel good.

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