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Nov. 30th, 2004

It's Finns for fair trade. The rest of this post has been abbreviated by swooning.

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( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
fairestcat
Dec. 1st, 2004 04:11 am (UTC)
Oh dear GOD. thank you for that link.

*swoons*
mpeg2tom
Dec. 1st, 2004 04:22 am (UTC)
The European Union had a 10% tariff on imported coffee until 2001. This was a cause of major friction between Brazil and the EU, eventually worked out in the WTO. Now there is a tariff-free quota of 14,000 tons, and the rest of EU imports are subject to tariff.

The problem is that all commodity foodstuffs are going to have cyclical high and low prices. The best way for farmers to handle this is to organize into some kind of diversified organization with farmers of other foodstuffs, i.e., large corporate farming corporations.

Interestingly, coffee prices reached a four-year high on Tuesday of $0.90/lb (March contract). Coffee prices have soared by 28% this month.
snidegrrl
Dec. 1st, 2004 01:09 pm (UTC)
It seems like the problem, to me, is how much of the money you pay for your coffee makes it to the farmers.

Also, it makes no sense to me that if there are two people involved in a transaction, only one of them is held responsible for making it fair.
mpeg2tom
Dec. 2nd, 2004 02:09 am (UTC)
Indeed, I don't think there is any problem with "Fair Trade" brand coffee. It is just market segmentation, like buying a Lexus. Fair Labeling Organization (FLO), which certifies all fair-trade coffee in the world, charges farmers $2500 to certify plus an annual base of $600 for recertification and $.02 per 2.2 pounds of coffee sold under the fair-trade label. They don't certify producers that harvest less than 50,000 pounds per year though.

The good news is that CAFTA is before Congress now. CAFTA will remove sugar and textile tarrifs & quotas so they can be imported from Central America. CAFTA is expected to open up $32 billion in trade between the US and some C.A. countries. It follows on the WTO decision in 2001 to force the EU to drop its 10% tariff on coffee.

I'm hoping that reduction of trade barriers on US imports through CAFTA, along with continual free-market reforms and protection of private property rights, will lead to greater growth and enhanced value-added industries for C.A. Maybe soon there will be more jobs on my Cousin's web site, Tecoloco such as "Ejecutivos de Call Center."
peregrin8
Dec. 1st, 2004 03:29 pm (UTC)
I too must swoon. Thanks for the link!
rob_donoghue
Dec. 1st, 2004 06:46 pm (UTC)
How long has Tim been blonde?
snidegrrl
Dec. 1st, 2004 07:34 pm (UTC)
I thought that was a distinguished silver?
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )