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Fairtrade Fortnight - Boycott it for the growers' and tastes sake

The poverty of Fairtrade coffee :: Alex Singleton

Monday sees the start of Fairtrade Fortnight, the time each year when we are hectored into paying more for a cup of coffee. Charities, politicians and primary school teachers will deliver the scheme as an undisputed good. With all this effort, it is a pity Fairtrade does not work....there is growing evidence that Fairtrade is damaging quality, too. Fairtrade farmers typically sell in both Fairtrade and open markets. Because the price in the open market is solely determined by quality, they sell their better quality beans in that market, and then dump their poorer beans into the Fairtrade market, where they are guaranteed a good price regardless. Moreover, because co-operatives mix every farmer's beans together, farmers who improve quality receive the same payment as those who do not, which discourages improvements. That's worth considering next time you pop out for a double espresso.

I don't drink coffee - just cups of PG tIps...

Comments

Thanks for that post. I have learned something new today. I do drink coffee, however I enjoy my PG Tips. I have a mug full next to me as I write.

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