The Globalisation Institute (a British think tank with ideas as fresh as my brother Din's daily brew at Ristretto Roasters) has some really interesting thinking on what the Fairtrade movement really means for growers in the developing world. Here's a snippet of what Alex Singleton has to say on the subject:
It is Fairtrade Fortnight, and we are all being encouraged to pay extra for everything from coffee to bananas. Coffee, a totemic product for the development community, is a product where many producers have suffered from lowering prices. Massive overproduction, caused largely by mechanisation in Brazil and the rise of Vietnam as a major producer, has had its effect on prices.
To read Singleton's manifesto on how to renovate the Fairtrade movement to make it truly meaningful to growers, check out Fairtrade 2.0 (n.b., best viewed while imbibing a nice cup of Ristretto's Kenya AA Katuro).
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