Water Mosaic echoes from home

pondering the mysteries, simplicity, and humor of life

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Fair Trade Certified

One of my co-workers won a radio drawing Monday for free bagels and coffee at his workplace. So today he invited us all in to share his prize. While I munched on my blueberry bagel, I noticed my coffee cup was Fair Trade Certified. Here is the statement next to their logo:

When you ask for Fair Trade coffe, your choice guarantees that farmers receive a fair price, ensuring great coffee for you and a better life for them.

I had never seen this before, but became very curious. Since this morning I checked out a site on Fair Trade supported by Oxfam. From there I read an opinion piece by Coldplay's frontman Chris Martin about the inhumane trade rules for 3rd world countries such as Ghana. Basically, these farmers (think 18 year old boys or single moms with children by her side) cannot compete with the market thus selling their crops many times for less than it cost to produce them. Personally, I don't know what to do about this issue, other than make it known that we are enjoying others labor for a price that is inhumane and unjust. I guess I should refuse to drink coffee that isn't fair trade certified. Maybe thats a start.