The Fair Trade Association website provides an informative introduction to fair trade and the FAIRTRADE label. Luetchford’s anthropological study discusses a range of issues at play in the Costa Rican coffee industry, and examines the fair trade movement with a critical eye. As the market for fair-trade coffee booms Ed Charles of 'The Australian' reports that some retailers are taking advantage of the consumer's growing awareness of fair-trade issues and are charging an unreasonable premium for fair-trade products and pocketing the difference. This PDF document, prepared by Oxfam Australia as part of their Fairtrade Coffee Campaign offers us a way to actively get involved in the campaign for the coffee growers of the world.
The website allows users to read how Fair Trade benefits producers, view ways in which they can get involved in the Fair Trade industry and even has a section on Fair Trade jobs and volunteer positions. The work looks at the effect that consumers have on producers in third world countries, and the ways in which the demand for fair trade produce is sometimes met by wealthy land owners eager to capitalise on the growing industry. Whilst Cafe 16 in Little Latrobe St in Melbourne explicitly states that there is no difference in price between their fair-trade and free trade products, other retailers and cafes are charging significantly more to provide fair-trade coffee.
There are 6,000 farmers benefiting, gaining about an extra £400,000 per year from the Fairtrade premium.
AKLuetchford, Peter 2008, Fair trade and a global commodity : coffee in Costa Rica, Pluto Press, London.
An excellent starting point for anyone who wants to get involved beyond their guilt-free cup of fair trade coffee. Why not download it, print it back-to-back to make A5 copies and use them on your Fairtrade stall if you are having one, or give to friends. As it boasts about the new Fairtrade logo added to KitKat, we are campaigning to force it to remove new logos from its infant formula that claims this 'protects' babies - it does not, babies fed on it are more likely to become sick than breastfed babies and, in conditions of poverty, are more likely to die.Nestle is not only trying to improve its image by promoting its Fairtrade KitKat, it is about to embark on a multi-million pound campaign in cyberspace.
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