Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Fair Trade?

I needed my caffeine fix this morning so I stopped off at an espresso bar and got a mocha, with a large "fair trade coffee" sticker emblazoned on the side. This got me thinking, what the hell is "fair trade"? I assume they mean there is some minimum price they pay for the coffee to ensure the coffee grower gets a higher than average profit and can pay his workers above the going labor rate. Is this really "fair" trade? If I pay $5 a pound for coffee beans, when I could pay some other guy $4 for the same beans, it is not really fair, I am getting ripped off! What is fair about that?