You buy fairtrade because…

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  • You buy fairtrade because…
  • Premier Icon Daffy

    coffeeking – Member
    I buy it if it isnt vastly more pricey than the good quality alternatives, because I like to think I'm at least giving a decent wage to people who make what I consume. Whether that's a reality or not, I'm not sure.



    Did some research into this a while ago, this is from a coffe buying mate…Fair Trade set a minimum price for each product standard they set up based on costs of production in each producing country.
    If the market price falls below then producers / farmers / workers are protected. If market price is above, then they receive the market price. At the moment the tea market would need to fall off a cliff for the minimum price to kick in – don't think we have used it in 5 years…

    On top of the minimum price there is a fixed social premium paid directly to the workers / farmers to be used in social projects. On tea this is 50 US cents per Kg – Sainsburys are currently paying c.$2.5M a year on tea premium alone – god knows what its costing them on bananas!

    The use of the premium varies depending on where it is used. In Africa its mostly used to provide clean water, electricity, clinics, hospitals, food stores, educational bursaries, etc. In India and more 'prosperous' countries where infrastructure is generally better its used to fund workers pensions, higher education, crop diversification and sustainable agricultural practices.

    Workers don't get 'paid' a lot more in most cases – but they are guaranteed a much better and safer standard of living than if not FT.

    FT is still the gold standard – Rainforest Alliance (PG tips, McDonalds, etc) and the others, who do not guarantee a premium or a minimum price, are nowhere near as strong on ethical stuff but stronger on environmental.

    Clarified it for me because, like most people I only had a vague idea of what it meant!

    thanks whytetrash, interesting.


    I buy Cafe Direct because I like it, and sometimes chocolate and fruit. Many mainstream products now have the Fairtrade Mark including Cadbury's chocolate, Sainsbury's own label tea bags and Starbucks coffee.

    I was involved in the launch of the Fairtrade Mark in South West England when I was working for Oxfam back in the early 90s and it is good to see its growth both in food stuffs and also in clothing – M&S do a range. I have also been to a number of events where farmers from West Africa or South America have spoken about the benefits that Fairtrade has brought to them – for example building schools with the profits.

    So all in all I think Fairtrade has been successful, and increasingly many of the products are as good if not better that non-Fairtrade ones.

    Premier Icon molgrips

    Sounds like it is well thought out then – insofar as it seems not to affect the free market based on quality all that much..?


    I LOVE the Fairtrade Chocolate Tart thing. Heated up then served with vanilla ice cream *makes orgasm noise*. Unfortunately I don't think they sell it anymore as I hunted for one a few months back and even rang all the Co-ops in my area 😳 If you can ask them to produce them again – I'll happily send them my address for delivery purposes 😉

    Premier Icon molgrips

    Starbucks chocolate cheesecake was like that… they stopped doing it 🙁


    Why!? WHY? Same thing happen to Ben & Jerry's Bohemian Raspberry Molgrips…

    non of the fairtrade bananas have been particularly great

    😕 I thought that all the bananas in the world were clones ? …….ie all genetically identical.

    …..quality assured, I would have thought 8)

    Sad to think that banana plants never have sex though 🙁

    Premier Icon molgrips

    Ernie, there are many different varieties of banana I'm told by my Indian friends. For some reason there's only one available here… However I do agree, pretty much every single banana I've had here have been the same, at an appropriate stage of ripeness naturally.


    This is really great – thanks for the thoughts.

    Any of you live in a Fairtrade town? Understand a number of councils have thrown their support behind the cause??

    Seems it's just another brand. It has some ethical standards that offer a guaranteed minimum price for the goods. I buy Fairtrade if I like the goods and the price is OK. I don't buy fairtrade coffee, preferring to buy coffee that's more direct-traded.

    there are many different varieties of banana

    There are many plants in the genus Musa, but all the bananas in all the supermarkets in the UK are clones.

    Which iirc, all this "inbreeding" is causing potential problems………they need some fresh blood !


    The vast majority of the bananas we have are the Cavendish variety, and yes, they are genetically identical.

    However, there will still be massive variance in the quality of the fruit due to all the usual factors that affect plant growth. That can be down to either the quality of the raw materials (ie, land, hours of sunshine) or the quality of the grower.

    Premier Icon kimbers

    iirc correctly didnt sainsburys get into trouble for adding their own extra big mark-up onto fair trade goods, chocolate in particular because they knew people would still pay it

    damn cant find an article

    but after this………

    now realising that the free range eggs ive been paying 3 times the price of the sainsburys value range were infact all from the same battery farms im rather sceptical of the supermarkets
    maybe i should go to sainsburys and demand my money back?

    Premier Icon Nick

    Seems it's just another brand.

    No, it isn't another brand, it isn't a brand at all.

    i live in a fairtrade town, and (as far as i can tell) it means **** all.

    i guess a few well meaning citizens get together now and again to decide things, and the odd shop add a fairtrade good to their shelves… but really? nah.

    same with the transition towns network 🙄

    Premier Icon molgrips

    It's pretty easy to tell free range eggs from battery eggs just by cracking them and looking at them. Shells are paper thin on battery eggs and the yolks are very pale.

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