Tradisionele resepte

Verantwoordelike groei van Fairtrade is 'n moeilike taak

Verantwoordelike groei van Fairtrade is 'n moeilike taak

Verantwoordelike groei van 'n onderneming verg baie tyd en sosiale bewustheid

Fairtrade moes hard werk om die skaal waarop dit vandag is, te bereik.

Die idee vir Fairtrade het 25 jaar gelede begin. Dit is 'n alternatiewe benadering tot konvensionele handel gebaseer op vennootskap tussen produsente en verbruikers, wat produsente verbeterde handelsvoorwaardes bied, waardeur hulle uiteindelik 'n groter wins kan behaal. Nou verteenwoordig die Fairtrade International 'n wêreldwye netwerk van boere en werkers in 70 lande en meer as 3 000 ondernemings. Harriet Lamb, uitvoerende hoof van Fairtrade, het egter aan Food Navigator gesê dat die proses om op te skaal tot die grootte van die organisasie nou 'n lang en moeilike reis was.

"Ons het elke dag te doen met die realiteite van eeue se onderdrukking, waarvan nie een van die dae opgelos sal word nie," sê Lamb.

Namate Fairtrade uitgebrei het, het die balans tussen die behoeftes van die privaatsektor en die benadeelde produsente meer teenstrydig geraak. Dit is 'n proses wat Lamb sê voortdurende verbetering en fynstelling vereis.

Verantwoordelike groei van Fairtrade is 'n groot bron van kommer vir die organisasie. Om seker te wees dat hulle dit doen, het Fairtrade meer aandag en hulpbronne gekry vir die menseregte en vryhede wat deur die belangrikste ILO -konvensies bevorder word.

"Groei met integriteit beteken om Fairtrade te laat groei, met inagneming van al die waardes en norme wat deel uitmaak van Fairtrade," sê Marike de Pena, ondervoorsitter van Fairtrade International Board. "Groei kan nooit ten koste van ander kom nie."


Wat is volhoubare kos? Ons gids vir 'n eko-vriendelike dieet

As u enigsins in die voedselwêreld belangstel, het u waarskynlik onlangs baie gehoor oor volhoubaarheid. Of dit nou plase is wat volhoubare landbou beoefen, boeremarkte wat volhoubare produkte verkoop, of restaurante wat volhoubare bestanddele op hul spyskaarte verbind, volhoubaarheid is die woord op almal se lippe.

Maar volhoubare kos is meer as net 'n mode of 'n modewoord. Namate die impak van die mensdom op die wêreld om ons - van klimaatsverandering tot die vernietiging van hele ekosisteme - al hoe duideliker word, neem meer en meer mense toe om die delikate lewensbalans op aarde vir die komende generasies te bewaar. Ter ere van Aardedag, wat op 22 April gevier is, het ons gedink dat ons 'n paar van die belangrikste elemente van die volhoubare voedselbeweging sou ondersoek

Volhoubare voedselbeginsels

Daar is geen enkele definisie van volhoubaarheid nie, maar die sentrale idee is om net soveel in die omgewing te sit as wat ons wegneem, eerder as om net te neem wat ons nodig het en dit beskadig te laat as ons daarmee klaar is.

Om 'n gesonde, funksionerende omgewing te handhaaf, is verantwoordelikheid vir die grond waarop ons boer, vir die plaaslike natuurlewe en ekosisteme, vir menslike gemeenskappe en vir kwessies soos klimaatsverandering wat die planeet in sy geheel beïnvloed. Volhoubare voedselproduksie bereik dit deur afval te elimineer en die beskikbare hulpbronne doeltreffender te gebruik, om met die omgewing te werk, nie daarteen nie.

Volhoubaarheid beteken 'n verbintenis van boere en produsente om skadelike chemikalieë te vermy, natuurlike habitatte en hulpbronne te beskerm en 'n goeie lewensgehalte vir vee te bied. Vir verbruikers, restaurante en kruideniers beteken dit om so direk as moontlik by volhoubare produsente te koop en voedsel te vermy wat honderde kilometers ver vervoer word of verwerk word in energie-honger fabrieke ten gunste van vars, plaaslike produkte.

Landbou en veeteelt

Volhoubare voedsel begin by die bron, by boere en produsente. Onverantwoordelike boerdery kan groot skade aan die omgewing veroorsaak, met gevaarlike chemikalieë wat ons grond en waterweë besoedel, en belangrike ekosisteme word platgemaak om plaas te maak vir boerderye of bewerkbare monokulture wat nie die natuur kan ondersteun nie. Natuurlike hulpbronne word misbruik, en veral die see, met 'n sorgelose oorbevissing, wat beteken dat visse gevang word voordat hulle kan kuit, en die voorraad van sekere spesies raak gevaarlik laag. Volgens die nie-winsgewende Wêreldnatuurfonds (WWF), ons huidige voedselstelsel is verantwoordelik vir 60% van die verlies aan biodiversiteit wêreldwyd.

Gelukkig het die afgelope paar jaar 'n besliste stap na volhoubare boerdery plaasgevind, met 'n groeiende aantal voedselhelde wat opdaag in 'n poging om die skade om te keer. In plaas daarvan om op chemikalieë te vertrou, fokus hierdie produsente op voedsel wat goed groei in die plaaslike klimaat, en wissel hulle gewasse deur die jaar namate die seisoene verander.

Baie plase help ook om die natuurlewe te beskerm deur 'n deel van hul grond te bewaar vir bewaring, en deur 'n uiteenlopende verskeidenheid inheemse of nie-indringende gewasse te verbou wat die plaaslike ekosisteem nie benadeel nie. Deesdae is meer as 15% van alle landbougrond in die VSA toegewy aan bewaring en natuurlewe.

Baie vissersmaatskappye neem ook stappe om die see - en hul eie lewensbestaan ​​- te beskerm deur hulle tot volhoubare visvangpraktyke te verbind. Dit beteken dat genoeg vis vir die bevolking gelaat word om homself aan te vul, en dit kan ook die teruggooi van jong vis insluit wat nie 'n kans gehad het om te teel nie.

Volhoubaarheid behels ook 'n verbintenis tot die versorging van vee, met menslike lewensomstandighede en menslike slag van diere wat vir vleis geteel word. Volhoubare boerdery beweeg egter toenemend na plantgebaseerde produkte, hoofsaaklik omdat boerderydiere so 'n ondoeltreffende gebruik van hulpbronne is, met die produksie van groot hoeveelhede voer wat nodig is om 'n relatief klein hoeveelheid vleis of suiwel te voorsien. Die Verenigde Nasies beraam dat diereboerdery verantwoordelik is vir meer kweekhuisgasvrystellings as al die motors, vragmotors en vliegtuie ter wêreld, en die effek neem ongelukkig toe.

Volhoubare verpakking

Oormaat verpakking kan ook probleme vir die omgewing veroorsaak. Dit gebruik natuurlike hulpbronne soos metaal, olie en hout, wat energie verbruik, en dit kan dikwels moeilik wees om te herwin, wat tot afval en besoedeling kan lei. Sommige plastiek kan honderde jare neem om af te breek as dit nie behoorlik herwin word nie.

Baie ondernemings verbind hulle nou tot die vermindering van afval deur minimalistiese verpakking aan te neem en plastiek te gooi ten gunste van materiaal wat makliker is om te herwin. Daar is ook 'n groeiende aantal boeremarkte waar produkte los verkoop word.

Voedselafval

Volgens die USDA is 30 - 40% van die voedselvoorraad in die VSA vermors. Dit vind in verskillende stadiums van die produksie- en verskaffingsketting plaas, en bevat voedsel wat bederf tydens lang reise, beskadig word tydens verwerking of bloot deur verbruikers weggesmyt word.

Deur kos te mors, beteken dat al die hulpbronne wat daaraan bestee is, verlore gaan. Volgens die Verenigde Nasies sou boere oor die hele wêreld hul vee voed op landbouprodukte en die voedsel wat ons tans vermors, sou daar genoeg graan oorbly om 'n ekstra drie miljard mense te voed, wat meer is as die verwagte bevolkingsaanwas teen 2050

Namate die bewustheid van die publiek oor die probleem toeneem, soek huiskokke maniere om hul voedsel optimaal te benut deur oorskiet in sop, smoothies of tuisgemaakte voorrade te gebruik. Restaurante is ook toenemend bewus van voedselverspilling, en baie neem 'n neus-tot-stert-strategie toe om vleis te kook en smaaklike geregte te skep wat die hele dier gebruik.

Wat kan ons daagliks doen?

As verbruikers is daar verskeie dinge wat ons almal kan doen om te help. Die eenvoudigste van alles is om afval te verminder - as u inkopies doen, moet u vooraf beplan en slegs koop wat u benodig, en as u oorskiet, kan u dit anders maak. Daar is baie resepte vir oorblyfsels aanlyn as u vas is vir idees. Neem 'n paar stewige, herbruikbare sakke saam wanneer u inkopies doen om plastiekafval te bespaar.

As u kos koop, moet u nie te veel verpakkings vermy nie, en u vrugte en groente moet losgemaak word - dit kan ook goedkoper wees. Vermy voedsel wat ver gereis het of in energie-honger fabrieke verwerk is, en probeer om vleis en suiwel te verminder. As u wel produkte uit die buiteland koop, help dit om buitelandse gemeenskappe teen uitbuiting te beskerm deur fairtrade te koop.

Ondersteun waar moontlik plaaslike, volhoubare produsente. Woon boeremarkte by om seisoenale produkte te koop en vra gerus stalletjiehouers oor hul boerderymetodes. Besoek restaurante wat plaaslike kos en die etos van plaas tot tafel beywer.

Onthou ten slotte dat nie almal die luukse het om hierdie opsies te bied nie. Daar moet meer gedoen word om volhoubare voedsel vir almal toeganklik te maak, maar dit is intussen belangriker as ooit vir diegene wat die volhoubare voedselbedryf kan ondersteun.

Vir die nuutste inligting oor volhoubare voedsel, moet u voortdurend op ons nuusblad oor volhoubare voedsel inskakel.


Wat is 'n subkontrakteur?

'N Onderaannemer is 'n gratis agent wat werk-vir-werk-diens in diens geneem word wanneer hul vaardighede benodig word. Gewoonlik is hierdie vaardighede gespesialiseerd, eerder as veralgemeen.

Onderaannemers is dikwels selfstandig en kies die werk wat hulle wil neem, wat dit moeilik kan maak om werk te kry as hulle nie reeds 'n groot netwerk van kliënte het nie. Selfs dan, as hierdie kliënte nie projekte het om te voltooi nie, is daar geen vraag na die vaardighede van 'n subkontrakteur nie. Een oplossing vir hierdie probleem is om kontrakteurs te vind om by te werk, eerder as onafhanklike kliënte.


Waarom 'vrye handel' dikwels 'onregverdige handel' beteken

Foto: handelsmerke soos NO SWEAT verwerp onregverdige, sweetwinkelarbeid. Anders as sommige skoene, is hierdie skoene gemaak deur vakbondlede wat 'n goeie loon verdien en onder goeie omstandighede werk.

Globalisering en mdash Die neiging van ondernemings om die wêreld as 'n reuse koninkryk van potensiële wins te behandel, sonder al die lastige grense en grootliks die skuld. As 'n onderneming sy jeans in Honduras vir 'n fraksie van die prys wat dit in Chicago kan doen, kan vasmaak, is die besluit om uit te kontrakteer 'n goeie idee. En as mededingers reeds hul fabrieksakkies ingepak en hul koste verlaag het, en u uithou vir 'Made in the USA' en hoër pryse, raai dan waarheen u besigheid op pad is?

Vryhandel is deel van globalisering en dit klink in teorie wonderlik: as ons alle handelshindernisse, soos invoertariewe, verwyder (die belasting wat ondernemings moet betaal om hul goedere in 'n ander land te kry en dit daar te verkoop), kan alle lande meeding op 'n gelyke speelveld en wat kan eerliker wees as dit? In die praktyk werk dit nie heeltemal so nie. Sommige lande is noodwendig baie magtiger as ander en hulle wil hê dat dinge so moet bly. Selfs terwyl hulle 'vrye handel' bevorder, gebruik hulle allerhande taktieke om te verseker dat hulle vryer kan handel as ander mense.

Het u dalk gehoor van 'n praktyk wat dumping genoem word? Dit is waar 'n geïndustrialiseerde land die produksie van voltooide goedere subsidieer, wat dit dan na 'n ontwikkelende land uitvoer teen 'n laer prys as die goedere wat die ontwikkelende land tuis kan produseer. Die ontwikkelende land moet die pryse van sy eie goedere verlaag tot 'n vlak wat dit vir armer mense onmoontlik maak om hulself te onderhou. 'N Ander taktiek is dat ryk lande hoë tariewe op voltooide goedere moet hef, maar lae tariewe op basiese grondstowwe. Dit gee armer lande geen ander opsie as om grondstowwe uit te voer nie: hulle kan nie self hierdie materiaal in afgewerkte goedere van hoë waarde maak nie, omdat hulle dit nie kan uitvoer nie. Die ryk lande voer die lae-waarde grondstowwe in, maak dit waar dit ook al pas, in eindprodukte met 'n hoë waarde, en voer dan die voltooide goedere terug na die arm lande. Praktyke soos hierdie beteken 'vrye handel' is alte dikwels 'n sinoniem vir 'onregverdige handel'. [10]

Volgens voorstanders van globalisering het vryhandel mense in armer lande groter rykdom gebring, wat hulle 'n vastrapplek gegee het op die leer van vooruitgang en voorspoed. Op grond hiervan, laat rykdom die samelewing geleidelik van die rykste na die armste laat val, wat almal se lewens op die lange duur beter maak. Die probleem is dat dit dikwels nie die geval is nie. Groot korporasies het hul bedrywighede nie uitgekontrakteer aan lae-loonekonomieë in ontwikkelende lande nie, omdat hulle armoede wou verlig; Nou is daar baie goeie voorbeelde van ondernemings wat met respek saam met vennote in ontwikkelende lande werk en billike pryse lewer wat gemeenskappe help om toegang tot belangrike dinge soos onderwys en basiese gesondheidsorg te verkry. Maar daar is baie meer ondernemings wat 'n skaduryke wêreld van sweetwinkels ondersteun, waar die werksomstandighede haglik is en die lone te min is om selfs in die basiese daaglikse behoeftes te voorsien. Onafhanklik word globalisering vinnig 'n 'wedloop na die onderkant'. As die “deurdringende” teorie werk, waarom is so baie van die wêreld se mense nog in armoede?


Notas

1 Hierdie bydrae vorm deel van 'n groter navorsingsprojek getiteld 'Organisation and Rationalization of Fair Trade' wat deur die Swiss National Science Foundation ondersteun word.

2 Praktisyns onderskei gewoonlik tussen billike handel (geskryf as twee woorde) om te verwys na 'n georganiseerde sosiale beweging wat daarop gemik is om suidelike en gemarginaliseerde produsente te ondersteun deur verbruikersbewustheid te verhoog met markgebaseerde strategieë, en fairtrade (geskryf as een woord) om die produk aan te dui sertifisering deur FLO (WFTO et al. 2011). Om die leesbaarheid van hierdie koerant te verbeter, gebruik ons ​​voortdurend die term 'billike handel'.

3 Bron: jaarverslag Max Havelaar 2013.

4 Interessant genoeg, ondanks sy hoofrol, het billike handel in Switserland nie stelselmatige aandag van sosiale wetenskaplikes gelok nie. Sien die studie van Mah é (2010) oor gesertifiseerde billike handelspiesangs in Switserland vir 'n uitsondering.

5 Die oppergesag van die noordelike lande en die gevolglike eensydigheid van die standaardiseringsprosedure vir billike handel was onderhewig aan afskaling deur die formele integrasie van produsente-netwerke se verteenwoordigers in die standaardbepalingsproses. (Fairtrade Internasionaal 2012). Die hoofkwartier waar die standaardisering plaasvind, is egter nog steeds in die noorde gelokaliseer, en debatte oor goeie standaardiseringspraktyke is 'n verskynsel van die noordelike lande.

6 Vir 'n historiese weergawe van die veldtogaktiwiteite en 'n ryk beskrywing van die geskiedenis van die sogenaamde 'bananawomen', sien die biografiese studie van die leier van die vrouegroep, Brunner (1999).

7 Vir 'n historiese weergawe van die veldtogte van die EvB, sien die biografiese studies van Holenstein en kollegas (2008).

8 Die eerste Switserse wêreldwinkel het in 1974 in Uster ontstaan, en as gevolg van hul indrukwekkende uitbreiding het hulle vinnig die getal van 300 bereik. Bron: onderhoude met billike handelspioniers in Mei en November 2013.

9 Bron: onderhoude met billike handelspioniers in Februarie, Mei, Oktober en November 2013 onderhoude met lede van die Swiss Max Havelaar Foundation in Mei 2012 en Februarie 2013 onderhoude met lede van alternatiewe fair trade organisasies in Mei 2013 en Januarie 2014 onderhoude met lede van konvensionele kleinhandel in Oktober 2013 en Desember 2013.

10 Bron: onderhoud met 'n baanbreker in Oktober 2013.

11 Bron: onderhoud met 'n Switserse baanbreker in November 2013.

12 Switserse hulporganisasies (Swissaid, Fastenopfer, Brot f ür Br üder, Helvetas) het 'n lewensvatbaarheidstudie in 1991 laat doen om 'n billike verhandeling van produkte te kommersialiseer. Bron: onderhoud met 'n voormalige lid van die Swiss Max Havelaar Foundation in Februarie 2013.

13 stigterslede van die Swiss Max Havelaar Foundation was Brot f ür alle, Caritias Schweiz, Fastenopfer, HEKS, Helvetas, Swissaid. Bron: Max Havelaar jaarverslag 1992.

14 Bron: onderhoud met 'n lid van 'n Switserse supermarkketting in Oktober 2013.

15 Bron: onderhoud met 'n lid van 'n alternatiewe regverdige handelsorganisasie in Mei 2013.

16 Van die belangrikste produkbekendstellings sluit in: heuning (1993), kakao (1994), tee (1995), piesangs (1997), lemoensap (1999), snyblomme (2001), katoen (2005). Bron: Max Havelaar se jaarverslae sedert 1992.

17 Bron: Max Havelaar jaarverslag 1992 en 2013.

18 Bron: onderhoud met 'n lid van 'n alternatiewe regverdige handelsorganisasie in April 2013.

19 Die regverdige handelsveldtogte oor snyblomme, wat onder leiding van die Switserse organisasie sonder winsbejag plaasgevind het, het groot openbare belangstelling gehad. Bron: onderhoud met 'n regverdige handelsaktivis in Oktober 2013.

20 Bron: onderhoud met 'n voormalige lid van die Swiss Max Havelaar Foundation in Februarie 2013.

21 Bron: onderhoud met 'n voormalige lid van die stigtingsraad van die Swiss Max Havelaar Foundation in Oktober 2011.

22 Bron: Max Havelaar jaarverslag 1996.

23 Nuus! bestaan ​​van 1994 tot 2008 en was daarop gemik om nasionale wêreldwinkelverenigings te koördineer. Sedert sy ontbinding het die werkende aktiwiteite van News! is geïntegreer in die WFTO. Bron: WFTO jaarverslag 2008.

24 Vir hul samewerking het die vier billike handel -koepelorganisasies (FLO, IFAT nou WFTO, News !, EFTA) die akroniem FINE geskep waarmee elke letter ooreenstem met een organisasie.

25 Bron: onderhoud met 'n voormalige lid van die Swiss Max Havelaar Foundation in Februarie 2013.

26 Bron: onderhoud met 'n lid van die Max Havelaar -stigting in Oktober 2011.

27 UTZ Certified is in 2002 gestig en UTZ Certified -produkte is in 2007 vir die eerste keer in Switserland verkoop. Rainforest Alliance is in 1996 gestig en is sedert 2010 formeel in Switserland verteenwoordig.

28 Bron: onderhoude met lede van die Max Havelaar -stigting en FLO in Oktober en Desember 2011, onderhoude in Februarie 2013 met lede van volhoubaarheidstandaardiseerders in Desember 2012 en Maart 2013 -onderhoude met lede van konvensionele kleinhandel in September, November en Desember 2013.

29 Die studie van Raynolds et al. (2007) verskaf gedetailleerde inligting oor die verskille tussen hierdie standaardiseringstelsels.

30 Bron: onderhoud met 'n lid van 'n evalueringsorganisasie in Oktober 2011.

31 Evaluering van standaardiseringstelsels word verskaf deur die Switserse nie -regeringsorganisasies WWF (World Wildlife Fund 2009) en Pusch (Praktischer Umweltschutz Schweiz)

32 Bron: onderhoud met 'n lid van 'n Switserse staatsekretariaat in Februarie 2012.

33 Vergelykende institusionele analise met sy primêre konfrontasie met liberale en gekoördineerde ekonomieë word ook aan hierdie denkrigting gewy (vgl. et al. 2010). Terwyl liberale ekonomieë beskryf word as gebaseer op markbeginsels en magtige groot ondernemings (hiërargieë), lyk dit asof gekoördineerde ekonomieë meer gewig plaas op netwerkgebaseerde vorme van koördinasie en bestuur, dws bestuur deur kragtige verenigings of selfs kartelle en baie informele inter-firma-verhoudings. en oor regulering deur die staat.


Die paradoks van billike handel

In 2011 het 'n breuk in die regverdige handelsbeweging ontstaan. Aan die een kant is 'n groep wat die belange van kommoditeitsprodusente in ontwikkelende lande beklemtoon. Aan die ander kant is 'n groep wat gerig is op die behoeftes en aspirasies van verbruikers in die ontwikkelde wêreld. In hierdie artikel besin 'n jarelange leier in die beweging oor die spanning wat andersins eendersdenkende aktiviste gedryf het om mededingende kampe te stig.

Die eienaar van 'n klein plasie naby Matalgapa, Nicaragua, pluk koffie (links). 'N Koffiekoper maak 'n keuse by 'n kruidenierswinkel aan die Upper East Side van New York (regs). (Foto deur Jane Jarman/Corbis, links, en Richard Levine/Alamy, regs)

In 2012 het ek as konsultant by Fair Trade USA aangesluit. Kort nadat ek met my werk by die organisasie begin het, het ek 'n reeks werkswinkels gehou met lede van die koffievoorsieningsketting en die produsentediensspan. Onder die onderwerpe wat ek behandel het, was produsentekoöperasies, die koffiemark en kennisbestuur. In hierdie werkswinkels het ek gereeld 'n weergawe van die Cultural Orientations Framework gebruik wat deur die uitvoerende afrigtingsdeskundige Philippe Rosinski ontwikkel is. 1 My doel was om te ondersoek hoe kultuur - die raamwerk waarin ons kyk en interpreteer wat ons omring - beïnvloed hoe ons dink, voel en optree.

In een oefening het ek probeer om deelnemers aan die werkswinkel te help verstaan ​​hoe hul posisie as waarnemers binne 'n bepaalde kulturele raamwerk die manier waarop hulle 'impak' waarneem en waardeer, skeef trek - byvoorbeeld die impak wat die beoefening van billike handel het op partye wat daarby betrokke is. .

Volgens die Almanak van Fair Trade USA in 2011 was die vyf lande waaruit die Verenigde State die meeste van sy Fair Trade -koffie ingevoer het, Peru, (25 persent), Colombia (12 persent), Honduras (11 persent), Nicaragua (10 persent) ), en Indonesië (9 persent). 2 Ek het hierdie gegewens met mense in die werkswinkel gedeel. Daarna het ek 'n vergelykbare stel data aan hulle gegee wat die perspektief van produserende lande weerspieël. Hierdie lys dui die omvang van Fair Trade -uitvoer na die Amerikaanse mark aan met betrekking tot die totale produksie van elke land. Van die een lys na die ander het die rangorde van lande verander. Nicaragua (6,4 persent) het byvoorbeeld van die vierde plek na die eerste plek beweeg. Belangriker nog, die verskeidenheid lande wat op die lys verskyn het, het verander. Costa Rica het die derde plek (5 persent) en Mexiko die vyfde plek (2,4 persent), terwyl Colombia (1,6 persent) en Indonesië (1,4 persent) uit die top-vyf-afdeling verdwyn het. 3

Skielik het ons impakstudie verander. Watter land, Peru of Nicaragua, het meer baat by sy billike handelsverhouding met die Verenigde State? Wat van Colombia, wat van die tweede plek na die sesde plek ook die status behaal het? Mense in die werkswinkel het begin sien dat 'die impak van billike handel' kan wissel na gelang van hoe hulle daarna kyk. As u die data vanuit 'n invoer- of verbruikersgebaseerde perspektief bekyk, lewer u een resultaat, en die siening van inligting vanuit 'n uitvoer- of produsentgebaseerde perspektief lewer 'n ander resultaat. Beide perspektiewe is geldig, maar slegs deur dit saam te sien, kan ons tot 'n omvattende persepsie van die werklikheid kom.

Hierdie eenvoudige werkswinkeloefening help om te verlig wat ek kom noem het die paradoks van billike handel. Die billike handelsbeweging is gestig om klein produsente van koffie en ander goedere - die meeste in ontwikkelende lande in die wêreldwye suide - te bevoordeel deur dit voordelig in 'n wêreldwye uitvoermark te integreer. Maar namate die beweging ontwikkel het, het dit 'n groot klem gelê op die aanpassing van sy pogings aan die behoeftes en aspirasies van verbruikers in die wêreldwye noorde. In teorie kan billike handel floreer op grond van 'n wen-wen-verhouding tussen produsente en verbruikers. In die praktyk kan daar egter spanning ontstaan ​​tussen diegene in die beweging wat die 'billike' deel van billike handel beklemtoon (vir hulle is die belange van die produsente uiters belangrik) en diegene wat die 'handel' -deel beklemtoon (hulle prioritiseer die noodsaaklikheid om verbruikers bereik).

Laat in 2011 het twee van die belangrikste organisasies in die billike handelsbeweging - Fairtrade International (Fairtrade) en Fair Trade USA - aangekondig dat hulle hul eie gang gaan. Hierdie skeuring is 'n kritieke keerpunt in die geskiedenis van billike handel, en mense in die beweging probeer nog steeds sin maak daarvan.

My doel in hierdie artikel is om te ondersoek hoe 'n konflik tussen twee opponerende wêreldbeskouings - twee kulturele raamwerke - gelei het tot hierdie interne verdeeldheid binne die billike handelsgemeenskap. Ek sal ook ondersoek hoe die paradoks van billike handel ons toelaat om die onderlinge verbondenheid van die kulturele raamwerke te sien. Uiteindelik glo ek dat die mense van Fairtrade en Fair Trade USA hul verskille kan oorkom en 'n werklike, transformerende impak op die lewens van produsente en verbruikers kan hê.

Die teorie en praktyk van billike handel

In die vroeë tagtigerjare het vader Francisco Vanderhoff Boersma teruggekeer van die Oaxacan -berge in Mexiko na sy geboorteland, Nederland, om met almal te luister wat sou luister na die onvermoë van Mexikaanse koffieprodusente om 'n prys te ontvang wat hulle 'n waardige lewensstandaard sou verseker. Vader Boersma, medestigter van die billike handelsbeweging, het skaars gedink dat die beweging 30 jaar later 1,3 miljoen produsente in 70 lande in vier streke (Afrika, Asië, Latyns -Amerika en die Karibiese Eilande en Oseanië) sou insluit. Vandag vind Fair Trade -handel plaas in 125 lande, en die totale jaarlikse verkope van Fair Trade -produkte is meer as $ 6 miljard. Sedert 2011 het die verkope met meer as 16 persent toegeneem. 4 (Ek sal die klein term "billike handel" gebruik om te verwys na die breë beweging om die lewens van kommoditeitsprodusente te verbeter deur middel van handel. Ek sal die hoofletter "Fair Trade" gebruik om te verwys na die aktiwiteite van organisasies wat Fair formeel sertifiseer Handel produkte.)

Die idee van billike handel is eenvoudig. Uiteindelik behels dit 'n wedersydse voordelige uitruil tussen twee partye: produsente en verbruikers. Die doel daarvan is om die lewens- en werksomstandighede van kleinboere en werkers te verbeter, en dit hang af van solidariteit met mense wat bereid is om meer vir 'n produk te betaal om te verseker dat hul aankope 'n positiewe uitwerking op produsente het. Die doel is om produsente en hul organisasies te bemagtig sodat hulle nie net 'n billike prys vir hul goedere kan verdien nie, maar ook beheer oor hul besighede kan neem en in hul gemeenskappe kan herbelê.

Vanuit een perspektief gesien, is billike handel 'n vennootskap tussen produsente en verbruikers om ongelyke handelsverhoudinge reg te stel deur die swakste skakel van die handelsketting-kleinskaalse produsente-te versterk en deur die mag van tussengangers te verswak (algemeen bekend as 'coyotes' in Latyns-Amerika) wat min of geen waarde toevoeg terwyl hulle 'n groot deel van die inkomste uit verkope eis nie. Hierdie tussenpersone, ongeag of hulle onafhanklike operateurs of werknemers van transnasionale ondernemings is, trek voordeel uit die isolasie van die produsente en gebrek aan markkennis. Deur hulle uit te skakel en sodoende die voorsieningsketting te verkort, het Fair Trade -organisasies 'n direkte, positiewe impak gehad op produsente se inkomste en op die kwaliteit van die produk.

Aan die einde van die tagtigerjare het leiers in die regverdige handelsbeweging landspesifieke Fair Trade-etikette begin bekendstel. Toe, in 1997, het 'n aantal organisasies saamgesmelt om die Fairtrade Labeling Organisations International te vorm, wat die globale strategie van die beweging gekonsolideer het en orde gebring het tot 'n deurslaggewende element van die Fair Trade -stelsel: sertifisering. Die rol van sertifisering is om seker te maak dat alle belanghebbendes in elke voorsieningsketting voldoen aan 'n gevestigde stel handels-, arbeids- en omgewingstandaarde. 'N Onafhanklike sertifiseerder is verantwoordelik vir die nagaan van hierdie standaarde, en die Fair Trade -etiket op 'n produk waarborg verbruikers dat daar aan hulle voldoen is.

Van die begin af was die vlagskip Fair Trade -produk koffie, en koffie verteenwoordig steeds die produk met die hoogste verkoopvolume. Maar die lys van Fair Trade -goedere het uitgebrei tot ander landbouprodukte: kakao, heuning, rys, katoen, suiker, vars vrugte en groente, neute, ensovoorts. Alhoewel die verbruik van Fair Trade -produkte toeneem, verteenwoordig dit 'n klein fraksie van die totale mark vir koffie en ander goedere. Na raming maak 25 miljoen klein produsente 70 persent van die wêreldwye koffieproduksie uit, maar die verkope van Fair Trade -koffie is slegs 2 persent van die totale produksie. Hierdie syfers dui duidelik die uitdaging aan - sowel as die geleentheid - wat vir Fair Trade -organisasies voorlê.

'N Beweging wat teen homself verdeel word

Op 15 September 2011 het Fairtrade International en Fair Trade USA 'n gesamentlike verklaring gepubliseer wat gedeeltelik lui: "[Ons] het verskillende perspektiewe op hoe ons [ons] gemeenskaplike visie die beste kan bereik ... om produsente en werkers regoor die wêreld te bemagtig om te verbeter hul lewens deur beter handelsvoorwaardes. ” Met hierdie verklaring het 'n 14-jarige organisasie-alliansie tot 'n einde gekom. Die onenigheid tussen die twee groepe spruit voort uit 'n lang debat oor die vraag of groot koffieplantasies en nie-georganiseerde klein koffieprodusente by die Fair Trade-stelsel ingesluit moet word. Leiers van Fair Trade USA, gretig om die stap te neem, het besluit om van Fairtrade weg te breek, en hulle het 'n nuwe strategie bekendgestel genaamd Fair Trade for All.

Toe Paul Rice, stigter en uitvoerende hoof van Fair Trade USA, uitgevra is oor die verdeling, het hy gesê: 'Dit is nie persoonlik nie. Dit is besigheid. ” 5 Hy en ander leiers in die Amerikaanse groep het daarop gewys dat ander produkte wat deur Fair Trade gesertifiseer is, soos tee en piesangs, van plantasies afkomstig is. Waarom, sou hulle gevra het, moet die kern Fair Trade -produkte (koffie, suiker en kakao) slegs by produsente se koöperasies beskikbaar wees? Rice het aangedui dat Fair Trade USA hoofsaaklik sou fokus op groei - groei in verkope en, volgens Rice, groei in impak. “Fair Trade van die verlede was ongelooflik. En absoluut nie skaalbaar nie, ”het hy gesê. 6 Deur 'n groter verskeidenheid produsente -entiteite toe te laat om aan die Fair Trade -stelsel deel te neem, het Rice aangevoer, sou die beweging doeltreffendheid skep wat groot kopers van die korporasie sou aanmoedig om meer produkte uit die stelsel te verkry. As gevolg hiervan het hy geglo dat die verkope van Fair Trade -produkte sou toeneem, en die finansiële en sosiale opbrengs vir alle soorte produsente ook sou toeneem.

Teenstanders van die Fair Trade USA-besluit het aangevoer dat die Fair Trade for All-strategie te ver wegbeweeg van die beweging se oorspronklike verbintenis tot die bemagtiging van kleinprodusente-organisasies. Rob Cameron, destyds uitvoerende hoof van Fairtrade, het die saak gemaak in 'n ope brief wat onmiddellik na die skeuring uitgereik is: 'Die FAIRTRADE-merk is die wêreld se algemeenste etiese sertifiseringsmerk en ons glo dat ons produsentgerigte benadering die sleutel is sukses. Produsente wêreldwyd word nie net gewaardeer vir hul mening nie, maar is mede-eienaars van die Fairtrade-stelsel. ” 7 Volgens Fairtrade -leiers is 'n model wat rondom kleinprodusente -organisasies gebou is, die enigste wat die ware bemagtiging van produsente kan waarborg. Ander modelle (soos die plantasie-model en die produksie-volgens-kontrak-model) hou afhanklikheid van 'n werkgewer of van tussengangers in stand.

Die World Fair Trade Organization, 'n wêreldwye netwerk van Fair Trade -organisasies, beklemtoon die risiko dat Fair Trade uiteindelik onder die beheer van groot multinasionale korporasies val: "Die WFTO glo dat die belange van produsente, veral kleinboere en ambagsmanne, die hooffokus in al die beleide, bestuur, strukture en besluitneming binne die Fair Trade -beweging. ... In hierdie scenario is dit nie ondenkbaar dat 'n multinasionale onderneming die hele voorsieningsketting besit nie en dit as Fair Trade kan noem. Dit is vir die WFTO heeltemal onaanvaarbaar. ” 8

Benewens hierdie reaksies van toonaangewende instellings, het 'n magdom aktiviste, akademici, kopers, makelaars, besorgde verbruikers en produsente regoor die wêreld hul mening uitgespreek oor of teen hierdie besluit. Op die grond het ons almal wat deel was van die billike handelsbeweging nou anders na mekaar gekyk. Ons het gelag om spanning vry te laat, maar ons was ongemaklik. Nadat ons jare lank saamgewerk het, het ons skielik teenstanders geword.

Word persoonlik

The night I first heard of fair trade, I could barely sleep. It was in 1994, and I was participating in an event hosted by Setem, a Spanish NGO where I was a volunteer. At that time, I was working at a bank. But I also found time to work as a social activist and as an informal educator of young people. Setem, I learned that night, placed the concept of fair trade at the center of its strategy to raise public and consumer awareness about the inequities in North-South trade relations. For the next several years, I promoted the fair trade concept in churches and in schools, in social organizations and in government institutions. Then I decided to meet with fair trade coffee producers firsthand. I wanted to see with my own eyes the impact that fair trade was having in the field. So in 1998 I grabbed my backpack and flew to Mexico. What was meant to be a two-year trip has become a calling that has occupied me for more than 15 years.

For my first field experience, I landed in the state of Chiapas. There I volunteered to work with one of the most successful cooperatives within the Fair Trade system—an organization that had sent the first shipping container with Fair Trade coffee ever to reach the UK market. Since then, I have worked with organizations of small farmers to improve their production systems. I have assisted them in their organizational development, helped them build management capacities, and supported their efforts to obtain loans and seek new markets. I have witnessed how these organizations have leveraged the benefits of fair trade to become more competitive and to defend the interests of their members. From 2006 to 2011, I worked for Root Capital, where I led an initiative aimed at improving access to credit for small rural businesses, the vast majority of which sell their products under a Fair Trade label. I also served as an advisor for Setem on a project designed to help fair trade producer organizations gain access to the Spanish market.

Over the years, the Fair Trade system has grown considerably. But the fair trade family remains relatively small. It’s a very young movement whose founders are still active and whose success is based on an almost utopian sense of marching together in pursuit of shared values.

That is why many personal relationships suffered following the split between Fairtrade and Fair Trade USA. In some cases, feelings of resentment are very real. In general, there is the sense of disappointment that often comes after a failure. Right now, we are hurt and at odds with each other, and it’s difficult to separate rational arguments from emotional reactions. It’s easy to look for culprits and to point fingers. For many of us, at this point, the safe thing to do is to surround ourselves with those who think as we do, and then to go out and prove that our way is the right way. Which means that our focus now is on competing with each other.

Outside the Market and Inside the Market

Let’s take a step back and look at the underlying reasons for the split between Fairtrade and Fair Trade USA. In particular, let’s use a variation of the cultural orientation analysis that I discussed earlier. By working to understand the cultural dynamics that have resulted in a conflict between two visions of the fair trade movement, we will be able to imagine options for the movement that take us beyond a purely competitive stance.

The fair trade movement takes certain things for granted. First, it assumes the pre-eminence of the current system of economic relationships. Second, it recognizes that some people participate in that system at a disadvantage. The question that stems from these premises is this: What makes “fair” trade necessary? There are two ways to answer that question, and each way reflects a specific cultural orientation.

One answer says that the current economic system is socially unjust, as well as inefficient in its distribution of resources, and that it depletes natural resources. To people who hold this view, fair trade is a powerful way to highlight the contradictions of the current system. This position has both a philosophical basis (What is “justice”?) and a political basis (How do we achieve it?). Linked to this position is a commitment to standing outside the system—buite the market. From the perspective of this cultural orientation, the goal is to confront the market system with a more humane model. Adherents of this view accept that system and work within its rules, but they seek to “contaminate” it with a potentially revolutionary idea: Fair trade puts people before profits.

The other answer says that the current economic system properly reflects a belief in free will: An individual who acts on self-interest will end up benefiting other actors within that system. Fair trade is thus one way that the system attends to the priorities of consumers. The system, in other words, responds to every type of demand, including the “demand” of consumers who have a desire for social justice. People who subscribe to this position stand inside the system—binne the market. Their goal is to participate fully in the market. They don’t deny that there might be ways to improve the current system, but they believe that the market is the most efficient way to allocate resources. From the perspective of this cultural orientation, the first priority of fair trade is to expand the market for Fair Trade products as broadly as possible.

When the fair trade movement split in 2011, it did so precisely along this fault line. Fairtrade represents an outside-the-market perspective. Its cultural orientation aligns with a European cultural framework, in which the principles of social democracy and the welfare state remain strong. Fair Trade USA, by contrast, represents an inside-the-market perspective. Its cultural orientation aligns with an Anglo-American cultural framework, in which the principles of individualism and competition tend to be dominant.

To speak of “cultural orientations” is to step into a tricky area. Unavoidably, we find ourselves using simplifications or stereotypes to guide us. Individual and cultural reality is, of course, much richer and more complex than the schematic overview that I have provided here. Still, a broad overview of this kind can be useful as a tool for analyzing different beliefs, motivations, and attitudes toward change. (See “Two Organizations, Two Cultures,” above.)

Cultures in Conflict

The culture of Fairtrade and the culture of Fair Trade USA have evolved in sharply different ways. And those differences find expression in the voices of the top leaders at those organizations—in the voice of Harriet Lamb, the current CEO of Fairtrade, and in that of Paul Rice, CEO of Fair Trade USA. What follows is a survey of comments that these two leaders have made in public forums over the past couple of years. 9

Attitude toward the market system | In discussing how the fair trade movement should interact with the current economic system, Lamb emphasizes the importance of transforming that system. “How can we change the world from the bottom up? How can we change the economy through changing people?” vra sy. “Change,” indeed, is the main word on her mind when she says, “We need new laws and new governments and new policies if we’re going to change the structures of power, but one of the ways we are going to get there is through changing relationships.” Rice, by contrast, focuses on the need to adapt to the current system. “The new version of globalization that’s emerging and growing very rapidly,” he says, reflects the idea “that you can actually be profitable and sustainable at the same time.” In another forum, Rice made the point more bluntly: “The solution is the market.”

Evaluation of impact | The two leaders also speak in contrasting terms when they discuss the impact of fair trade. Lamb argues that gauging the impact of fair trade is a more complex task than simply reading a sales-growth chart. “Fair trade is about enabling consumers to buy responsibly, enabling producers to farm responsibly, pushing companies to trade responsibly,” she says. “But it’s also more than that. It’s about being a change agent.” Rice, although he emphasizes the benefits that his organization delivers to producers, uses language that is more bottom-line-oriented than Lamb’s. “Over the last 10 years, we’ve been able to deliver over $220 million in additional market value back to those farming communities,” Rice says. “At the end of the day, it is the best metric for success that we have.”

Strategie | How organizations operate is necessarily a result of the strategic objectives that drive them. At Fairtrade, the focus is on supporting frontline producers. “We need above all else to be really world-class in our work with small holders. That’s what fair trade is famous for,” Lamb says. “Nobody [else] is helping small holders to get organized and get a better deal from trade. Nobody [else] is helping small holders build their businesses and become stronger exporters empowered within the value chain.” Fair Trade USA has adopted a strategy that pivots on the needs of corporate buyers and consumers. “Companies are finding that this model, and similar models, are helping them stabilize their supply chain, improve their reputation, and also tap into this growing consumer segment that we call the ‘conscious consumer segment.’ They are looking for great products that also are kind of consistent with their values,” Rice says. “Great products make us also feel good.”

Partnerships | Similarly, Fairtrade and Fair Trade USA give priority to their connections to different kinds of partners. “Farmers know best what would enable them to make change in their communities, and we have to make sure that in fair trade the farmers and workers are in the driving seat,” says Lamb. Rice, for his part, sets his sights on allying with parties that drive demand for the products that his organization certifies. “Partnerships with companies and market-based approaches,” he says, “are often needed in order to solve social or environmental problems.”

And here is a pair of quotations that succinctly convey the difference in outlook between Lamb and Rice—and the difference in culture between the Fair Trade groups that they lead. Lamb points to the importance of producers: “We work to really unlock the power of the many in the interest of the farmers and workers.” Rice, meanwhile, points by implication to the centrality of consumers: “Every purchase matters. Every purchase is an opportunity to change the world.”

What would happen if people on each side of this culture clash could truly talk with each other? The challenge of cross-cultural communication is for people to recognize that they—just like those with a different outlook, a different sense of identity—are ensconced in their own cultural orientation. Being open to understanding other cultural frameworks is a skill that requires us to move our own identity off-center and to experience that identity from a different vantage point. My hope is that people in the fair trade movement can take that step.

Working Through the Paradox

Under the umbrella of the fair trade concept, two perspectives—two cultural orientations—coexist in tension. There is the outside-the-market perspective of Fairtrade, and there is the inside-the-market perspective of Fair Trade USA. Within each perspective, the basic definition of fair trade is the same: the use of trade as a means to achieve social justice. But there is no agreement on the exact meaning of “social justice,” or on the best strategy for achieving it, or on which side of the producer-consumer equation should receive greater emphasis. The current split within the movement puts this tension into clear view.

But are these two perspectives, in fact, mutually exclusive? Or are they, perhaps, complementary? Even though they each regard producers and consumers in a different light, they agree that the essence of fair trade lies in engagement between those groups. They agree, moreover, on the need to increase the participation of consumers in fair trade—whether that participation takes the form of promoting responsible consumption (Fairtrade) or the form of increasing sales (Fair Trade USA). Not all consumers are the same. Their beliefs and aspirations, and how they see their role in society, differ. So why not consider each perspective to be a different method for reaching a different set of consumers? For some consumers, a fair trade transaction is a chance to participate in meaningful, long-term change. For others, it’s a one-time chance to “do good.” Fairtrade is clearly in the best position to reach the first kind of consumer, whereas Fair Trade USA is probably best suited to reach the second kind.

What I propose, in sum, is that these two groups pursue their competing yet complementary approaches. Each group will spread the fair trade ideal while approaching consumers in its own way. In other words, each organization will act in accord with its cultural orientation. Fairtrade, with its outside-the-market perspective, will deepen the sense that the Fair Trade system operates by and for organized small producers. Fair Trade USA, with its inside-the-market perspective, will extend fair trade to more potential consumers. One organization will focus on quality (enrich the concept), and the other will focus on quantity (grow to scale).

Again, it is a paradox: The fair trade movement aims to empower producers, yet it does so largely by serving consumers. That paradox, that tension at the root of the fair trade concept, has led to an institutional split within the movement. But the effort to work through the paradox can also lead us to be innovative in our search for a way forward. I envision the possibility of building a new model that respects both cultural frameworks: We can compete and work together at the same time. We can appeal to consumers using different methods, even as we could join forces to empower producers.

What if members of each group could recognize that they are only partially right? What if they could say, in effect, “We all are fair trade”? What if, together yet separately, they could rebuild the global Fair Trade system in a way that serves as an example for other organizations? We have an opportunity to put in place a new model in which we harness the benefits of market competition while using the power of solidarity to distribute those benefits.

Fair trade in this new era should be not only a matter of good business, not only a compelling way of unlocking the power of social justice, but also a transformative movement for all stakeholders. If we can remain aware of our own cultural orientation and also remain respectful of others’ orientation—if we can use that knowledge to help us work together—then we will have an opportunity to make a real difference.

Notas

1 Philippe Rosinski, Coaching Across Cultures, Nicholas Brealey Publishing, 2003.
2 Fair Trade USA, &ldquo2011 Almanac.&rdquo
3 Data from the International Coffee Organization.
4 Data from Fairtrade International, &ldquoUnlocking the Power: Annual Report: 2012-13.&rdquo
5 Michael Sheridan, &ldquoPaul Rice makes the case for Fair Trade for All,&rdquo CRS
Coffeelands Blog, October 6, 2011.
6 Ibid.
7 Rob Cameron, &ldquoAn Open Letter from CEO on Changes to the Fairtrade System,&rdquo
September 16, 2011.
8 &ldquoWFTO Response to Fair Trade USA-FLO Split,&rdquo World Fair Trade Organization,
October 2011.
9 Quotations of Harriet Lamb come from her presentation at the Fairtrade Supporter
Conference, October 16, 2012.
Quotations of Paul Rice come from &ldquoInterview with Paul Rice, CEO Fair Trade USA&rdquo (online video),
The Badger Herald, February 2, 2012 &ldquoInsight: Paul Rice&mdashPresident & CEO, Fair Trade
USA&rdquo (online video), mOppenheim Associates, December 8, 2011 Ellen Lee,
&ldquoQ&A With Fair Trade USA Founder Paul Rice,&rdquo SFGate, April 15, 2012 &ldquoAwakening a
Sleeping Giant: Fair Trade on Campus&rdquo (online video), TEDxAshokaU, May 9, 2011.

Manel Modelo is a consultant who
specializes in organizational development.
Currently, he is an advisor to Fair Trade USA’s
coffee supply chain and producer services
department. He also serves as a consultant
in global coffee research for the World Bank.

The author wishes to dedicate this article to
the memory of Raúl del Águila, a leader and
ambassador of the fair trade movement.


5 Common Myths About Fair Trade Coffee

Editor's note 9/3/2020: The coffee crisis reported on in this article is, unfortunately, more relevant than ever. The global pandemic has made a bad situation worse for many people whose livelihoods depend on coffee. Coffee prices, which were already well below the cost of production in most countries at 13-year lows, are expected to become more volatile as the pandemic unfolds. Coffee farmers are deeply concerned about the future of their crops due to decreased commercial demand from restaurants, offices, hotels, etc. To top it off, the nature of the coffee industry leaves farmers especially vulnerable to income and food insecurity should a harvest not go as planned. This is currently a significant risk because labor shortages in most coffee-growing regions have resulted in delayed and reduced harvests as farmers have not been able to pick all of their coffee. For these reasons, it's more relevant and crucial than ever to understand and seek out fair trade coffee.

Last September when we published “Coffee in Crisis: How to Take Action,” the price of coffee was less than $1 per pound. Since that post, the price of coffee has hit yet another low.

We are at a critical moment in the coffee industry. The New York Coffee "C" Contract price—which is basically the benchmark for determining price between producers and buyers—dropped from around $2 a pound in 2014 to 89 cents in 2019—a more than 50 percent drop and a 14-year low. At this price, coffee farmers are unable to cover even the most basic costs associated with coffee production.

In other words, coffee at its current price means producers lose money with every sale, debt piles up, and communities go hungry—even as many sell their coffee beans to some of the world’s best-known specialty coffee brands and retail prices for specialty coffee rise.

For many coffee farmers, conditions seem so hopeless that they are converting their farms to illicit crops like coca or abandoning farms altogether to seek better livelihoods in other countries. Forbes reported that Guatemala is now the single largest source of migrants attempting to enter the United States, a major reason being the decline in coffee prices, which has caused many farmers to believe their circumstances are too desperate to remain in their country.

We’ll only see more and more of this if prices stay this low. With fewer coffee producing regions, we’ll start to see less quality and diversity in the coffees we are able to access.

When we opened our doors 20 years ago, there was a similar pricing crisis facing coffee farmers. In fact, it is a major reason Fair Trade USA® exists today. Through the years, we’ve continued to implement and enforce rigorous fair trade standards which drive protection of fundamental human rights, safe working conditions, money for community development, democratic organization, ability to improve product quality and capacity, access to new markets, and strong supply chain relationships. Fair trade has been a lifeline to many coffee farmers when the market fails them, and again it’s more important than ever.

A major goal for us is to provide information to help consumers and businesses make informed, ethical purchase decisions, and one way to do that is by dispelling misinformation about fair trade coffee that has come up over the years. This article aims to clear some of that up.

Myth #1: Fair trade is only valuable for businesses.

We know that some people view fair trade as a nice "pat on the back” for large companies and multi-national corporations needing to satisfy their sustainability goals, or perhaps just another middleman between you and the source of your coffee. This perspective may originate from the quick growth of the fair trade model in the 2000s and the incorporation of major brands and retailers as more and more consumers began to demand ethically responsible and sustainable coffees. Sure, fair trade is valuable for businesses to the extent that it relies on purchases—if there were no purchases on fair trade terms there could be no fair trade impact. But what sets fair trade apart from other certifications is that it was established as part of joint effort of producers, consumer rights advocates, and the industry coming together to envision a better, more sustainable way of doing business. The standards are driven in large part by small producer organizations to balance higher incomes with market share.

Myth #2: The fair trade coffee price doesn’t really help farmers.

Coffee farmers and farm workers across the globe face many challenges: extreme poverty, food insecurity, vulnerability to climate change and diseases, low and volatile market prices, intermediaries and lack of price and information transparency, unregulated working conditions and labor rights abuses, and generations leaving farming in search of a better life. Fair trade empowers farmers and workers to address these challenges and build strong businesses and thriving communities through three main avenues: our standards, the enforcement of a minimum price paid directly to the Certificate Holder (usually a cooperative), and Community Development Funds that the cooperative members invest in their communities through democratic decision-making.

Fair Trade Minimum Price

The price for unroasted (green) coffee is determined by a global commodities market. This price fluctuates daily, has no basis on the actual costs to produce that coffee, and historically has been a way to protect the interests of buyers in the global north.

The Fair Trade Minimum Price for coffee was last set in 2011 according to a global benchmark on production costs. The standard minimum price for washed Arabica unroasted coffee is $1.40 per pound, or $1.70 per pound if the coffee is also certified organic. If the market price falls below the Fair Trade Minimum Price, as it did in August 2017 and where it has remained since, then producers who sell their coffee on fair trade terms have the assurance of knowing they will receive at least the minimum price for their coffee. When times are good and the market price is above the minimum price, then producers can of course sell their coffee above that price. Fair trade is the only mainstream model that does this (guarantees a minimum price to help coffee producers through hard times).

As Paul Hicks from Catholic Relief Services points out in his article “Extreme Price Volatility Undermines the Coffee Sector,” price volatility is harmful in and of itself, making it very difficult for coffee farmers to plan and manage their farms and investments. Farmers with stability and confidence are more likely to invest in productivity and coffee quality, hire farm workers and pay them fairly, and at the most basic level, be able to feed and provide for their families.

The last day the coffee commodity price closed higher than the Fair Trade Minimum Price was August 11, 2017. Since then, the average commodity price has been $1.11—that’s 29 cents below the Fair Trade Minimum for conventional coffee and 59 cents below the Fair Trade Minimum for certified organic.

Community Development Funds

For every pound of green coffee sold on fair trade terms, the producer earns an additional 20 cents per pound that goes directly into a Community Development Fund. From there, cooperative farmer members democratically decide how to use these funds in their local community to improve their lives and meet their unique social, environmental, and economic needs that are not being met by the local government or financial sector. For a cooperative that sells most of their coffee on fair trade terms, this could mean an additional $100,000 or more each year to invest in services to communities, workers, or farmer members, and investments in the infrastructure of their organization. These investments empower coffee farmers to become more resilient in the face of mounting challenges which threaten coffee production, like climate change, by helping farmers earn additional income and access networks of information. Last year, Fair Trade Community Development Funds generated $35 million of additional income for coffee producers—the highest amount in a single year in our existence as an organization.

Myth #3: Direct Trade is better because fair trade doesn’t focus on quality.

Actually, fair trade as a system does help to support and encourage investments in quality. Coffee cooperatives join the fair trade system starting off with a range of different capabilities when it comes to quality assurance, internal procedures, ability to segment coffees, and technical support. As these groups participate in the fair trade system, they are required to invest at least 25 percent of the Fair Trade Community Development Funds that they earn into quality and productivity initiatives. In fact, we see many go above and beyond this requirement, with investments in these areas hovering around 50 percent in recent years. As cooperatives build up their capabilities to support farmers with trainings on agricultural best practices and investment in new processing technologies and techniques, quality improves. As quality improves, new business opportunities open up. In this way, fair trade helps cooperatives make the needed investments to become sustainable businesses and allow for the conditions necessary to sell quality coffees into a market that requires consistency and innovation.

Some specialty coffee companies have touted that direct trade is better than fair trade, but the two are not mutually exclusive and coffee roasting companies can engage in both. Fair trade coffees can be directly traded, meaning that buyers and producers can have long-term relationships and negotiate higher than Fair Trade Minimum Prices for high quality coffee. On the flip side, many direct trade coffees are from fair trade cooperatives. Both methods can involve forming long-term relationships with the producers and paying higher than market price based on quality. For coffee roasters, fair trade and direct trade supply chains are founded on transparency—ensuring that the product they purchase has an identity and supports the people behind its production by directly investing with their producer partners and their communities and strengthening supply chains. Fair trade achieves this through third party evaluation and certification with a clear set of standards and processes for auditing, whereas direct trade is a concept that encourages roasters to develop more direct relationships with coffee producers but has no single or set definition of standards.

As Chris Davidson of Atlas Coffee Importers said, "Without standards and third-party verification ‘direct trade' could mean anything or nothing at all."

Unfortunately, many brands advertising direct trade coffees have never visited these producers in person, don’t have a relationship with their coffee producers, and/or don’t have a verified method to ensure that the additional prices they’re paying for high quality coffees are actually getting to the farmers that are putting in the additional work to produce these coffees.

For these reasons, Fair Trade USA promotes fair trade products as a way to provide a reputable third-party guarantee, and we encourage our coffee partners to develop direct relationships with their producers at origin. For consumers, fair trade is a simple and clear way to support producer communities across the globe, shop their values, and vote with their dollar for a better world.

Andrés Bermeo Calderon, a member of a Fair Trade Certified™ coffee cooperative in Chirinos, Peru, and his 11-year-old son pose for a photo in the coffee bean drying room of their farm in the coffee producing village of Pueblo Libre. "For me, the most important part of being a cooperative member is that now I can provide a better life for my family," says Andrés. "Before, our sales were really bad and we had no control over the price. Sometimes we received only enough for the day, to buy food and nothing else. Now we have a better economy and we are able to ask for loans. My wife is currently in Lima because of some health problems. I am able to send her money and also provide for my son who lives with me here."

Myth #4: Fair trade doesn’t focus on environmental sustainability.

We believe that compensating farmers for the work they do is the first step toward achieving environmental goals. Farmers can’t go hungry for the sake of putting healthy environmental practices in place. Once farmers are getting paid adequately, they have the means and health to invest in the land they care for just as much as we all do. That said, Fair Trade USA’s Agricultural Production Standard does include a range of environmental protections with criteria related to efficient water usage protection of biodiversity, forests, and waterways prevention of use of GMOs and reduction of harmful pesticides utilization of techniques for integrated pest management and soil health and waste disposal management. In addition, fair trade’s is the only voluntary sustainability standard that provides a formal premium for organic certification. As mentioned already, the Minimum Price is 30 cents higher for organic fair trade coffee. Every year since 2013, more organic fair trade coffee has been certified than conventional coffee. Between 1998 and 2018, Fair Trade USA certified around 1.06 billion pounds of organic coffee compared to 780 million pounds of conventional.

Finally, many coffee cooperatives invest their Community Development Funds into environmental projects such as sanitation, subsidizing organic fertilizers, waste water treatment, or training on good agricultural practices that minimize negative environmental impacts.

For 17 out of our 20 years, the amount of organic coffee produced has outweighed conventional coffee. Between 1998 and 2018, Fair Trade USA certified around 1.06 billion pounds of organic coffee compared to 780 million pounds of conventional.

Myth #5: There isn’t enough fair trade coffee available.

Quite the opposite, actually! Supply of Fair Trade Certified coffee is abundant it’s just a matter of needing buyers. In 2018, Fair Trade USA certified 176 million pounds of Fair Trade Certified coffee and there are more than 800,000 coffee farmers in the fair trade system, yet only 35 percent of available production was sold on fair trade terms.

The movement to source more sustainable coffee is being led in large part through the Sustainable Coffee Challenge, an industry-wide initiative to make coffee the world’s first 100 percent sustainable commodity. Target has committed to converting all of its Archer Farms brand coffee to fair trade by 2022, while, two more retailers recently made big commitments: Albertsons announced their O Organics coffees will be Fair Trade Certified, and Williams Sonoma shared that they will transition 100 percent of their branded coffees to fair trade in coming years. More than 100 companies in retail, food service, and beyond have stepped up to make similar commitments. Together, these will help to increase market access for farmers looking to sell their coffee on sustainable terms. For coffee drinkers, it means greater availability of fair trade goods and better communications about the impacts of the model.

So, what does all this mean for you? If you’re a coffee drinker, seek the seal on your coffee. Fair Trade Certified coffee is available at every major grocery store in the country, so shop where you can find it and request it where you can’t. You can also help spread the word by signing this Change.org petition to end the humanitarian crisis in the coffee industry. It’s a simple yet powerful way to ask the coffee industry to pay their farmers adequately using solutions such as fair trade.

If you work in the coffee industry, join the Sustainable Coffee Challenge or contact us to learn more about it. Commit to purchasing fair trade coffee and spread the word to your community through efforts like the #JustOneCup campaign.


Make the Golden Rule a habit

"Treat others with dignity and respect and they'll respond to you," says McKinley. "Everybody needs to be held accountable for whether [a project] gets done, but by treating people kindly and with respect, they're going to respond to you."

This is especially true when working with team members who are frequently assigned to multiple projects, each with its own leadership team and leadership styles. Relationships built on kindness, courtesy and mutual respect will go farther to build and maintain an effective, efficient (and happy) team than one built on coercion, fear and dominance.


Score table

Updated live from our research database

Against the Grain biscuits [O,A]

Island Bakery biscuits [O]

Doves Farm biscuits [O,A]

Lazy Day biscuits [A]

Bahlsen biscuits [A]

Biona biscuits [O]

Walkers Shortbread

Nairn's biscuits

Traidcraft biscuits [F]

Border Biscuits

Hill Biscuits

Lotus Biscoff biscuits

Fox's biscuits

Waitrose Duchy Organic biscuits [O]

Mrs. Crimbles biscuits

Co-op biscuits [F]

Marks and Spencer biscuits

Co-op biscuits

BN biscuits

Crawford's biscuits

McVitie's biscuits

Penguin biscuits

Waitrose biscuits

Aldi biscuits

Lidl Tower Gate biscuits

Morrisons biscuits

Sainsbury's biscuits [O]

Jammie Dodgers biscuits

Lyons biscuits

Maryland Cookies

Paterson's biscuits & oatcakes

Sainsbury's biscuits

The Edinburgh Bakery biscuits

Viscount biscuits

Wagon Wheels biscuits

Cadbury's chocolate biscuits

Oreo cookies

Tesco biscuits

Asda biscuits

What is most important to you?


Four Ways To Challenge Employees To Reach Their Potential

Jack Welch, the former CEO of General Electric famously said, “Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others.” Challenging your employees correctly to grow toward their potential is far easier said than done. We want to correct their deficits, but not demoralize them. We want to push them, but not so far that they go right out the door.

Further, managers have widely divergent ideas about what’s actually motivating to others, with some managers ending up in avoidance mode. "Most performance problems aren't dealt with directly," says Joseph Weintraub, a professor of management and organizational behavior at Babson College and co-author of The Coaching Manager. "More often, instead of taking action, the manager will transfer the person somewhere else or let him stay put without doing anything."

In my experience, most leaders are trying to combine a mix of challenge and support to get the best out of their teams. Achieving this balance is never easy, and is specific to each individual. But in the end, growing others is a worthwhile effort for both noble and a self-interested reasons. It’s personally rewarding to help others accomplish more than they’d thought possible. And high-performing employees reflect very well on their leader.

Here are some effective strategies that will help you push your team members so they can surpass their own expectations, and yours.

Look for potential in others, and call it out.

The Pygmalion effect is the theory that people will rise or fall based on the expectations that authority figures have of them – and has been proven in settings ranging from classrooms to corporations.

All leaders have tremendous power simply by being in a position of authority, and can use their words to influence how others view themselves. The act of expressing belief in your employees and focusing on setting high, but achievable standards for them has real repercussions.

When we communicate to an employee, we too often leave out the potential we see in them to be successful. We may challenge them but not say why we’re sure they can do it. Instead, consider the idea that if you see something praiseworthy, innovative, or potential-enhancing from your team members, call it out.

Push people out of complacency.

There’s a natural tendency for us to gravitate toward what we’re good at doing. Then we get stuck there because we’ve gotten comfortable.

This kind of stasis can be too much of a good thing and inhibit growth. Good leaders push people to try things they have potential for and give them the opportunity to take a risk. They actively look for ways their employees can practice the exact thing they need to do, but might be uncomfortable trying.

Make failure a learning process.

Regardless of how smart or hardworking one is, failure is inevitable. Everyone makes mistakes or fails to meet expectations at some point in their professional lives, and it’s important to frame those situations correctly or a career can be sidetracked. Again, the leader has much power here.

Employees will go further for a leader who they know has their back. It’s important to build your employee back up after a failure and get them back on their feet again as soon as possible. Discuss the failure as a learning opportunity, and avoid being overly critical or berating them about the issue. Make sure they know that you view failure as a necessary part of growth and innovation, and that you see great things for the person ahead.

Remind employees that it’s about the effort, not just innate skills.

According to Stanford psychology professor, Carol S. Deck, teaching others to have a “growth mind-set,” which emphasizes process over innate intelligence, is crucial to creating motivated people: “Our society worships talent, and many people assume that possessing superior intelligence or ability—along with confidence in that ability—is a recipe for success. In fact, however, more than 35 years of scientific investigation suggests that an overemphasis on intellect or talent leaves people vulnerable to failure, fearful of challenges and unwilling to remedy their shortcomings.”

Instead of praising employees’ talents or brains, praise their efforts and strategies that got them to where they were.

Verbalizing this particular type of praise works because it teaches that instead of expecting things to come easy, we have to work hard to get results. Consider Malcolm Gladwell’s statement (and book) that it takes 10,000 hours to master something. Emphasizing the value of hard work—and praising employees for resilience—is crucial to motivating others to meet their potential.


The global coffee market has had a rollercoaster year amid Covid crisis

The scale of the downturn hitting the coffee industry is reflected in figures from the countries with the biggest markets.

The world’s biggest cafe market, the US, expects sales at specialist tea and coffee shops fall nearly 11% in 2020 after years of strong growth, according to Euromonitor International.

In China, now the world’s second-biggest market for coffee, sales growth is expected to slump from just over 40% to just 1.6%.

The rise of international chains such as Starbucks and the UK’s Costa, which now operates in more than 30 countries, had spurred strong growth in Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and across eastern Europe. But that is set to go into reverse this year.

Southern Europe, especially Italy and Spain, with its traditional coffee culture and a busy tourist industry, has also recorded a big drop in consumption.

As the market has contracted, net imports by coffee-buying countries were down nearly 6% in the three months to the end of June compared with the same period last year, with figures for the US and Japan particularly poor, according to Rabobank, a leading financial services provider for the food sector.

Its analyst Carlos Mera said the market was “not the bloodbath it could have been” with major chains hopeful of a rebound in trade while sales of coffee capsules have grown.

But the pandemic has sent an already volatile coffee market on a deeper rollercoaster ride.

Prices on the global commodity market climbed steeply in February and March as the world stockpiled under the coronavirus threat. Prices then plummeted by more than a quarter in mid-June, when many of the world’s coffee shops closed, before rising sharply again.

The price changes are not only affected by changing demand and fluctuations in the dollar, in which coffee is usually traded, according to Mera, but also as a result of investment funds piling into commodities as an alternative to plunging equity markets.

Those changes are likely to have a wide-ranging impact on producers who are already struggling to cope with depressed coffee prices and the effects of climate change which has made growing crops more difficult by, for example, increasing incidence of disease in some regions.

Becky Forecast, supply chain manager at Fairtrade, said: ‘There is a big concern that demand [for coffee] won’t pick up again.’ Photograph: NewsCast

Becky Forecast, supply chain manager at ethical trading group Fairtrade, said: “Volatility of coffee prices has been a big problem and the Covid crisis has exacerbated that.”

She added that the changes in price made it difficult to plan ahead and cover costs, making the Fairtrade way of conducting business, which guarantees a minimum price for producers, more important than ever.

“That safety is not only crucial for farmer but for the long-term sustainability of coffee. If they are not covering the cost of production there is little incentive to carry on [farming].”

The good news for producer countries is that most of the world’s biggest coffee growers, including Brazil, were able to harvest their crops despite the crisis which slowed down transport links.

The effect on roasters has been mixed with those supplying retailers or selling direct online faring much better than those more reliant on the hospitality industry.

Small roasters such as Grind and Ozone often buy beans direct, rather than relying on commodity markets, so these relationships have protected their supply chains during the crisis.

But Forecast said: “There is a big concern that demand won’t pick up again or what people are consuming domestically won’t balance out what they were buying out of home.”