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This is an aspect of green living I haven't looked into very much yet. Just curious as to what others' opinions are and how you involve fair trade in your purchasing.
 

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I feel bad about the coffee. We had a huge stockpile of coffee here that I am almost through. I'm going to get one more jar of instant to get me through to the move, but after that I plan to buy fair trade.

I have no idea where my chocolate comes from, I should look into it. I only get expensive brands anyway.
 

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How is "fair trade" related to "green"?

Fair trade is price fixing.
 

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If there isn't more than a 10% difference in price (if I have a choice) between two items, I'll buy fair trade. I'm afraid that FT may be a marketing gimmick in that some extra money goes to the producers, but not all. And maybe the money goes to the producer but not the workers. There is no way to track it..just "trust" the seller.
 

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Fair trade isn't price fixing...it's paying a fair price for a commodity, generally to smaller producers that grow/make something in an ecologically sound way.
 

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Fair trade isn't price fixing...it's paying a fair price for a commodity, generally to smaller producers that grow/make something in an ecologically sound way.
It's paying a price for a commodity that is *greater* than what the sellers of that commodity would otherwise sell it for.

That is price fixing - it's price fixing on the supply side, but its still price fixing.

As long as its all voluntary, I've got no PROBLEM with price fixing - but the 'green' connection is tenuous at best - many fair trade policies advocate the green side but that's not the root idea behind fair trade.
 

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If there isn't more than a 10% difference in price (if I have a choice) between two items, I'll buy fair trade. I'm afraid that FT may be a marketing gimmick in that some extra money goes to the producers, but not all. And maybe the money goes to the producer but not the workers. There is no way to track it..just "trust" the seller.
It is regulated, they can't put the fair trade certified logo on their products without first being independently audited to ensure they meet the international standards for fair trade.
 

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How is "fair trade" related to "green"?

Fair trade is price fixing.
Fair trade - Wikipedia, the free [email protected]@[email protected]@/wiki/File:FairtradeQuinoa.jpg" class="image"><img alt="" src="http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/c/c2/FairtradeQuinoa.jpg/300px-FairtradeQuinoa.jpg"@@[email protected]@commons/thumb/c/c2/FairtradeQuinoa.jpg/300px-FairtradeQuinoa.jpg

"Fair Trade is an organized social movement and market-based approach that aims to help producers in developing countries obtain better trading conditions and promote sustainability. The movement advocates the payment of a higher price to producers as well as social and environmental standards. It focuses in particular on exports from developing countries to developed countries, most notably handicrafts, coffee, cocoa, sugar, tea, bananas, honey, cotton, wine, fresh fruit, chocolate and flowers."


To be honest, it really isn"t "green", but the green movement has embraced the fair trade movement and kind of brought it alongside itself.

So being green involves taking extra steps to care for our planet, environment, and our health (limiting exposure to pestisides, etc....).

Supporting fair trade involves taking extra steps to care for the people and practices that are supplying good quality products, as opposed to simply paying the cheapest price for a product, in spite of however poor the growing practices are for the people involved.

So is it a stretch? Maybe. But not as big as you might think.

And yes, I support and "vote for" fair trade (coffee, anyway) with my food dollars.
 
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Greebo, the forum descriptor here specifically mentions "Fair Trade" as one of the example topics. So, to answer your question, "Fair Trade" is related to "Green Living" because the forum states explicitly that it is.

Does "Fair Trade" also include some modicum of human rights? For example, can one be confident that sweatshops packed with sub-teenage children laborers weren't involved in making the product labelled "Fair Trade"?
 
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Greebo, the forum descriptor here specifically mentions "Fair Trade" as one of the example topics. So, to answer your question, "Fair Trade" is related to "Green Living" because the forum states explicitly that it is.
Yes, but that answer would only prompt me to ask, "WHY is Fair Trade tied into the Green forum?"
 

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The movement advocates the payment of a higher price to producers as well as social and environmental standards.
Like I said - price fixing!

And as I said - as long all parties involved are involved voluntarily, I'm perfectly ok with price fixing.
 

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Like I said - price fixing!

And as I said - as long all parties involved are involved voluntarily, I'm perfectly ok with price fixing.
But Greebs, it's not price fixing. If you go to buy coffee, for example, there are lots of options on the shelf. You have no idea the growing conditions, or the working conditions of the people that produced your cup of coffee. But if opt to vote for fair trade with your food dollars, you can be sure that you are supporting good working conditions and ethical practices for those involved in
your morning cup of joe.

Like I tell my husband, there are some things that are simply worth more than the almighty dollar.
 
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Price fixing is an agreement between participants on the same side in a market to buy or sell a product, service, or commodity only at a fixed price, or maintain the market conditions such that the price is maintained at a given level by controlling supply and demand. The group of market makers involved in price fixing is sometimes referred to as a cartel.
Yes, it is. The participants are agreeing to pay a price for the product that isn't driven by supply and demand.

A "manually powered entrenching tool" is just a spade, too. :)
 

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Ok. Like I tell my husband: it's ok to agree to disagree.

I see fair trade along the same lines as organic produce. I am simply willing to pay a slightly higher price for something I believe that is important to me. Period. End of story.
 

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Ok. Like I tell my husband: it's ok to agree to disagree.

I see fair trade along the same lines as organic produce. I am simply willing to pay a slightly higher price for something I believe that is important to me. Period. End of story.
It's not a matter of disagreement - the practices involved in fair trade fall under the umbrella of price fixing. Your own explanation of fair trade confirms it - you're just objecting to me using the older yet perfectly valid name for what it is.

And let me say it for the third time now - I HAVE NO PROBLEM WITH IT.

I think "fair trade" is perfectly FINE, so long as everyone involved participates voluntarily. We buy fair trade coffee too - not for ourselves (we like flavors Fair Trade doesn't offer) but for my Dad who doesn't do flavored coffee.
 

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Yes, it is. The participants are agreeing to pay a price for the product that isn't driven by supply and demand.

...
If Fair Trade goods truly weren't governed by supply and demand they would not be sold, as there would be no demand willing to pay the price premium associated with the certification.

However, there is such a demand, as eloquently described by IntlMom. The market, recognizing such a demand, has offered a product meeting that demand. The particular demand is smaller than the demand for the non-certified product, leading to a higher price. Further, the demand is willing to pay a premium, thus supporting the higher pricing.

The products are in the end, wants, not needs, with readily available lower costing alternatives to those for whom pricing is the main concern. I don't understand how this can be an example of price fixing. The premium involved with fair trade goods is just the market targeting a portion of the demand that is willing to pay the premium.

An analogy is that you will pay more to have your taxes done by a licensed CPA rather than at H&R Block in part because you are paying a premium for the professional certification.
 

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If Fair Trade goods truly weren't governed by supply and demand they would not be sold, as there would be no demand willing to pay the price premium associated with the certification.
You are talking about demand side. The price fixing is on the supply side. The columbian coffee farmers would have, and HAVE accepted far lower payments for their product than what "fair trade" offers.

I don't understand how this can be an example of price fixing.
Because the companies who sell fair trade coffee are deliberately paying more than they HAVE to for the product they're buying.

Y'all have been conditioned to think of "price fixing" as a negative. Fair trade is an example of price fixing as a positive.

Look I didn't intend to start a hubbub by calling fair trade what it is. I only mentioned what it is to illustrate what it is NOT - it's not necessarily green.
 

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Most fair trade items aren't items I buy anyway. Though most of the fair trade chocolate is out of my price range. I just try to buy from more responsible companies.
 
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I support Fair Trade, but it's pretty low on my list, and a lot of other factors come first. For coffee, I specifically look for shade-gown over Fair Trade.

And yes Greebo, you're right - it is price fixing on the other side.
 

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My interpretation of the "Green" umbrella includes advocation and support for environmental sustainability (of which farming practices and alternate economic methods would be a part).

My interpretation of "Fair Trade" is that it promotes environmental and economical sustainability on a more global scale by preventing labor exploitation and encouraging safe farming practices for those products many of us cannot source locally.

I cannot post links yet, but Googling TransFair USA and looking at their Fair Trade Overview page, they have a nice explanation of how they define Fair Trade for their certification.

So, to me, Fair Trade would fall under "Green," in a similar way as a person deciding to go vegetarian or shop at farmer's markets would be considered "Green."


That said, my purchasing Fair Trade products tend to be fairly incidental. The only real product I regularly buy that offers Fair Trade is coffee, and for that, I tend to be more focused on flavor and roasting company.
Starbucks could convert their entire line to Fair Trade coffee/tea and I still wouldn't buy from them, and not just because they sell overpriced craptacular burnt ass for beans. I tend to buy from local independent roasters...and I don't mean that in a snobby, coffee-elitist way, it's just we have a ton of local roasters in this city and I happen to know quite a few of them.

So my coffee priority list tends to go local indy shop->roast level->country of origin. If the type I'm currently buying is from a Fair Trade source, that's just economic Green gravy. :D


Oh, and I guess I indirectly purchase Fair Trade when buying ice cream, but that's just because I like Ben & Jerry's. Of course, buying Ben & Jerry's ice creams is basically buying the entire Green/Slow/organic food movement in a pint full of tasty, creamy goodness.
 
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