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Pissing in the Wind

Maybe the comments between me and Seth is just a pissing contest. It does appear we both agree that cost should not be the central criteria in making a purchase. We also both agree that cost is important if only for giving more access to fair trade products. One might ponder then what if our actual disagreement.

From my perspective, it does not help when one asserts their post was not about cost when that theme weaves through the whole post. One of the things I was reacting to was the ideology of lowest cost in anti fair trade. It does not matter what the price – loss of jobs, destroyed communities, or declining wages – what is important is that we got the product for the lowest possible cost. Just Coffee said it best in defining 100% Fair trade.

Why 100% Fair Trade? Just Coffee is a 100% Fair Trade roaster. Why is that important? We believe that you either get it or you don’t. Some companies do 5%, 25%, or 50% of their coffee using Fair Trade criteria. While any fair trade is great, we don’t know how you can commit to doing the right thing by some growers and not others. It winds up being charity as opposed to economic justice.

Doing a small percentage of fair trade has many advantages for a less-committed coffee company. A company can use their fair trade coffee to get accounts they could not with their “conventional” coffee like universities, churches, and food co-ops. They can also offer their fair trade coffee at dirt cheap prices and subsidize the loss by offsetting it with profits made for coffee bought at “sweatshop” prices.

We see fair trade as a tool to change the global economy and to help equalize the disparity of wealth between countries in the global north and the global south. By our way of thinking, anything less than a 100% commitment to the model would be disingenuous.

Small-scale farmers everywhere deserve a living wage for their hard work. And they deserve it all of the time, not just some of the time.

I am done pissing for now, and it appears Seth is almost done. After putting on some clean Fair Trade clothes and a cup of Fair Trade coffee, I think we probably agree more than we disagree. As I said in one of my comments I applaud him for dealing with economic issues that is something most Dems today shy away from.

Look at this past week when that worthless New York piece of shit Rangel was making secret deals with the prez. Todays Democratic Party are just a bunch centrist, corporatist Clintonistas.

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3 responses to “Pissing in the Wind

  1. I do think we agree on far more than we disagree on when it comes to fair trade. I think the fundamental misunderstanding was that I was discussing cost as something that doesn’t need to prevent someone from purchasing fair trade, and I think you took it as me saying that cost should be THE reason someone should buy fair trade. My emphasis on cost was driven by the fact that I think most people don’t buy fair trade because they either don’t know what it is or the think it costs too much; so I sought out in my post to explain the first point and dispel the second.

    And the fact is I wasn’t writing my post for someone like you who already purchases fair trade products whenever possible — I was writing it for the people who never do, but perhaps would be willing to do so if they knew more about it. Since cost is often important to people when discussing a change in their purchasing habits, I made sure I pointed out that fair trade doesn’t need to break the bank whenever possible. But that doesn’t mean I was making cost a primary consideration; indeed, to do that would necessarily reject all fair trade products since I’m not aware of any case where they’re the cheapest. If someone is only interested in cost, they’re just not going to buy fair trade products. But there are a lot of people who would be willing to pay a little more, if necessary, to get a fair trade product, and that’s who my post was aimed at.

    I was also set off by the comments you made about my attempts at fair trade just being that kind that helps liberals to sleep at night while your fair trade is “the real stuff.” But I’m more than happy to put that behind us knowing that what’s most important is what we agree on — that more people should take an interest in buying fair trade products.

  2. I submitted a comment yesterday but it doesn’t appear to have gone through. Are you moderating these now?

  3. Apparently not since that one just went through.

    So much for you being done pissing. I see by your post today that you’re still pushing forward on the “my fair trade is the only fair trade” diatribe. I’ll comment over there.

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