No I am not taking about the corporate firm of D&R (Democrats and Republicans), but rather partial Fair Trade and anti fair trade products. The argument goes all fair trade is the same since they are certified by the same organization. One could argue that a little fair trade is better than none at all, but there is as much validity to the argument that bad fair trade does more damage than good.
Yes it is true that Trans Fair USA has a set of criteria to certify fair trade coffee. But for some companies this does not go far enough. If a company is selling Fair Trade products but subsidizing it with sweat shop products, then that’s certainly not a great leap forward. In addition if companies are jumping from one local farmer to another year after year, that really is not that different than the anti fair trade model we currently have.
Just Coffee has put forward a set of principles that define what they refer to as 100% Fair Trade.
- 100% Fair Trade -Opportunity to change the global economy into something that puts the needs of people before the profit margins of companies.
- Prefinancing – A “fair price” only works when it is paid in a way that works for farmers. Often farmers face a severe cash shortage going into the
- Longterm Relationships -Many roasters and importers buy “fair trade coffee” from different co-ops every year depending on quality and convenience.
- Worker Cooperatives -We support the original vision of fair trade that aims to help small-scale producers stay on their land and off of the plantations.