Results 1 to 11 of 11

Thread: Can you buy Fair Trade Green Beans??

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Burnie, NW Tas
    Posts
    201

    Can you buy Fair Trade Green Beans??

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Im after some fairly traded green beans (organic would be a bonus).

    Does anyone buy these already and can point me in the right direction?

    Ive tried Tradewinds but they seemed a bit precious about thier beans and would let me buy any...

    Thanks! :)

  2. #2
    TC
    TC is offline
    .
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Melbourne
    Posts
    14,665

    Re: Can you buy Fair Trade Green Beans??

    Quote Originally Posted by andrewT link=1156309782/0#0 date=1156309782
    Im after some fairly traded green beans (organic would be a bonus).

    Does anyone buy these already and can point me in the right direction?

    Ive tried Tradewinds but they seemed a bit precious about thier beans and would let me buy any...

    Thanks! *:)
    Yes you can! Andy had a *Timor http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1126449975 *and an Organic FT Decaf http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1126449270 last year and they were at fair prices too!

    I suspect that the outlet mentioned may have been reluctant to sell to you as many purveyors of FT get to pop a hefty margin onto the roasted retail product....Ive seen FT retail at $56/kg in Melbourne....

    Now I wonder how much of that "extra" $20 markup gets back to the growers?? I may be cynical, but I suspect that the retailers who add this huge margin are by far the biggest winners....There is no need for Fairtrade to be marked up like this...

    end of rant!

    2mcm

    Im sure there will be more...

    2mcm

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Burnie, NW Tas
    Posts
    201

    Re: Can you buy Fair Trade Green Beans??

    yeah... youre probably right re markup stuff... but at least it is BETTER for the farmers.

    I think FT is important as its a really good way to break the cycle but on the other hand its not much good if the coffee tastes like crap/is really old.

    So if I can somehow have good coffee AND FT coffee then YAY!

    Thanks for your help!

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    163

    Re: Can you buy Fair Trade Green Beans??

    Fairtrade is important and there is a need for it, but its only 5 percent of the market. What about the other 95 percent of the farmers? Generally bean quality in fairtrade isnt as good. Wouldnt you be helping a farmer if you brought beans from Rwanda or Yemen that wasnt fairtrade? I dont agree with the comment fairtrade is better or its a good way to break the cycle. Most of the money is locked away with advertising, marketers, cafes and roasters. Its more a marketing tool. The cycle is locked up in politics and at the end of the day the farmers receive the bare minimun. If a supermarket sells Fairtrade coffee at 50 dollars a kg and the farmer only gets 30 cents where does the $49.70 go? Better of sponsoring a child and buying great coffee.
    Cup of excellence and direct trade are ideas that work and help farmers, which are great ideas!
    Soon people will be branding a WHALE FRIENDLY COFFEE BEANS.

  5. #5
    TC
    TC is offline
    .
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Melbourne
    Posts
    14,665

    Re: Can you buy Fair Trade Green Beans??

    Quote Originally Posted by andrewT link=1156309782/0#2 date=1156318273
    yeah... youre probably right re markup stuff... but at least it is BETTER for the farmers. *

    I think FT is important as its a really good way to break the cycle but on the other hand its not much good if the coffee tastes like crap/is really old.

    So if I can somehow have good coffee AND FT coffee then YAY!

    Thanks for your help!
    I kinda disagree....The vast majority of coffee goes to auction and the market dictates what is a fair price (often significantly higher than FT at the moment)....so, it can be a moot point....However it does have marketing potential to Joe average and can give naive uni students an excuse not to attend lectures and demonstrate outside non FT cafes instead. ;)

    We sometimes forget that FT coffee was just a marketing campaign by one of the "Big 5" who had been shafting growers for years by operating outside the system and creating grower slaves...

    Our organic coffee isnt FT...yet....but we pay signinficantly more than FT for it- and it all goes to the grower and it retails at a fair price....so does it really matter?

    2mcm

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Burnie, NW Tas
    Posts
    201

    Re: Can you buy Fair Trade Green Beans??

    I think you might be a tad on the cynical side there...

    As in many primary industries (including here in Aus), the large companies very much set the price they will pay ppl for thier product. Ask any dairy farmer how much profit they make now compared with 10 years ago!

    "When you buy certified Fairtrade coffee, the small scale farmer who grew that coffee gets a decent return for their work, unlike other small scale coffee farmers who are getting paid up to 30% less than what they did 15 years ago.
    Buying Fairtrade coffee products makes a real difference to the lives of coffee farmers, as it enables them to afford the basics of life – food, shelter, health care and education for their familes."

    PRICE: "A minimum price of AUD $3.80 per kilo is paid for the coffee. Certified Fairtrade coffee producer co-operatives recieve an additional 15˘ a kilo to further their communities’ economic and/or social development. If the price for coffee rises over the Fairtrade minimum, the Fairtrade price also rises.

    The higher price paid to farmers in the Fairtrade scheme means that they have effectively doubled their earnings over the past decade, compared to non-Fairtrade farmers who have been left struggling."

    Obviously there are pretty high costs associated with transport etc and the downstream processing so the end price will be higher... but from the FT coffee I have bought its not that different in price.


    I REALLY dont think it matters if the coffee is labelled FT or not... as long as the ppl growing it arent being ripped off (whic IS a current reality whether you think so or not). I guess at least you know the FT labelled coffee has been fairly traded.

    If you can be sure that the growers are getting a fair deal with your coffee then good for you. (NOT said sarcasticly)

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    1,946

    Re: Can you buy Fair Trade Green Beans??

    Where did you get that fair trade price information from? Every piece of information that I have seen says that FT coffee producers get $1.26US/lb (might be the same figure), which is the price that they got in the early nineties and has not changed since then.

    It seems to me that the certification is based around a bulk-lot, minimum quality economy that Nestle and the rest of the big guys subscribe to. Thats lovely for them, but thats not the sort of coffee that I want to drink. For specialty coffee, the cup of excellence and ecafe systems make a lot more sense ... of course, theyre not accessible to everyone, but I think that saying that one scheme will solve anyones problems is a vast oversimplification. And I do think that there is a vacuum in that Im unaware of any body, other than CoE or eCafe, that is transparent in getting growers of high-grade coffee a fair price or, more importantly, in helping farmers to improve their commodity level crops to specialty level crops that will get a better price ... CoE and eCafe are brilliant, but they cant reach everyone and, from my limited understanding of them, they seem to be focussed on getting a better price for people who are already producing a great standard of coffee. Id love there to be a body focused on getting money to farmers for capital investments to enable them to get a better rate.

    In the meantime, I think that the way to go is to either donate directly to the Oromia cooperative in Ethiopia through the various channels that have been set up or to donate to coffeekids.org or similar to provide the funds that some of the proceeds of coffee sales would be spent on.

    Some links of interest:

    "So you say theres a coffee crisis?"
    A brilliant email from Geoff Watts from Intelligentsia Coffee, which everyone should read

    Theres a fair bit of reading there, but its pretty illuminating.

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Burnie, NW Tas
    Posts
    201

    Re: Can you buy Fair Trade Green Beans??

    That info comes from oxfam.com.au

    Nobody said that FT coffee was the fix to the worlds problems either... it IS a way to get the big companies to notice that what theyre doing is wrong and it DOES get extra money to where its needed.

    Thats a really good article too Luca!

    Look, I just think that if I can do someting that makes a bit more difference in the way the world is then Ill do it. If I find out theres a better way to do that with coffee that doesnt involve buying FT labelled coffee then cool! Point me in that direction!

  9. #9
    TC
    TC is offline
    .
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Melbourne
    Posts
    14,665

    Re: Can you buy Fair Trade Green Beans??

    I think it is important to distinguish between the practices of the big guys who buy outside of the system- like Nestle and *$ for example and and the rest of the coffee buying guys who buy at auction within the system- where per lb prices have been above those of fairtrade for quite some time. Its simple supply and demand...

    Both Andy and Luca have made some great points regarding quality and FT doesnt neccessarily promote quality.

    The issue for me is that when retailers place an additional $20/kg "margin" on FT labelled product, that pretty much amounts to fraud as far as Im concerned...and I cant wait for the current affairs programs to get onto these ripoff merchants. Customers would be mortified if they knew that the return to the grower for their extra spend amounts to mere cents per pound.

    A good read exists in http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=4708- Macchiato myths, by Tim Wilson.....

    FT need not be significantly more expensive than regular coffee- and were gonna prove it....bean ground & drunk Fairtrade Organic coffee is about to hit the market...at $20 per kilo less than the prices charged by some other "dealers" in this market...We reckon thats pretty fair....to all... ;) It is high quality and drinks very well.
    Many Melbourne based CSers have sampled it...

    2mcm

  10. #10
    Super Moderator scoota_gal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    4,126

    Re: Can you buy Fair Trade Green Beans??

    Im only halfway through that article youve posted, Luca. But so far a fairly typical story that we are seeing happen time and time again, no matter what the farming industry. You could be talking about milk, coffee, cotton or oranges. Its all the same. Why does the consumer world in general feel the need to devalue the hard work and effort that goes into being a farmer of any type?

    Its increasingly ironic that the so called co-ops that were first begun to "protect" farmers are in fact put in place by corporations (through either direct or indirect means) in order to force farmers to accept a lower price for their produce. Yes, thats right, a lower price. This ensures corporations who buy up the product have a bigger chance of making a bigger profit. And so the corporations put any markup they desire before on selling to the unsuspecting consumer which sees their huge profits happen. Sure, I have no concrete proof that this is what is done, save the hugemungous profits recorded by many of these companies every year. Proof enough I think.

    Cynical, I hear you say!

    As much as we are all purchasers from corporations, whether we like it or not, it is becoming increasingly more frustrating to be the one who is victim to their strategies. I see farmers suffering at their farm gate and I see those who are in the small service industries who support those farmers suffering even more.

    Meanwhile, the cost of fuel and hence living continues to increase and we are left feeling powerless and out of control because of it.

    My own way of dealing with this is to try and either grow my own produce, go to Farmers Markets and not be over consuming in general of the big retailers. If I can purchase from the farm gate I will do so and I fortunately have the luxury of being able to, unlike you poor unfortunates in the big cities! ;) Instead, I am changing my purchasing habits to deal with the homegrown and smaller retailers. Sure probably costs a bit more but the savings by not spending with the corporations all the time might be good for all in the long run.

    This all of course, is my opinion. I hardly expect you all to agree with me! :P

  11. #11
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    1,946

    Re: Can you buy Fair Trade Green Beans??

    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    Just doing some reading up now ... finally seem to have found a site with some relevant information ... maybe ... anyhoo, theres an interesting "response" to your point, Chris:

    Quote Originally Posted by 2muchcoffeeman link=1156309782/0#8 date=1156377092
    The issue for me is that when retailers place an additional $20/kg "margin" on FT labelled product, that pretty much amounts to fraud as far as Im concerned...and I cant wait for the current affairs programs to get onto these ripoff merchants. Customers would be mortified if they knew that the return to the grower for their extra spend amounts to mere cents per pound.
    Im with you, Chris, and, apparently, so is Ross Gittens from SMH. It is interesting that the following piece of drivel is the best response that oxfam could come up with:

    (Just so that yall know that I have reproduced the letter in its entirety, heres a link to it: http://www.fta.org.au/files/lettered060608.pdf)

    8 June 2006

    Letters to the Editor

    Sydney Morning Herald
    GPO Box 3771
    Sydney NSW 2001

    Dear Editor,
    Fairtrade means real benefits for producers Ross Gittens’ (7/6/06) claim that it is retailers that benefit from the sometimes higher price of Fairtrade coffee ignores the real benefits received by farmers in the scheme. Unlike the conventional international coffee market, where price instability and a lack of transparency commonly hit mostly poor, small-scale farmers badly,
    Fairtrade producers are guaranteed a fair minimum price.

    They also benefit from a Fairtrade premium which is spent on community projects such as health and education, and from being part owners of a democratic producer cooperative. This transparency and share of income cuts profiteering ‘middlemen’ out of the process.

    Gittens also ignores the fact that there are additional costs of certification incurred to ensure accountability and that benefits are delivered to producers. Like conventional coffee, Fairtrade products vary in price and quality, but as it has risen in popularity, consumers now have the option to choose a Fairtrade coffee that best meets their needs.

    Andrew Hewett
    Executive Director, Oxfam Australia
    Of course, I havent read Gittens article, but I think it is reasonable to assume that the benefits received by the farmers would have been mentioned. It is interesting that Hewett points to the costs of certification, but doesnt actually adduce any numbers. Now, turning on my most sarcastic tone, do you think that this could be because he doesnt want people to ask if it is really worth paying an extra $20 to get an extra $2 (for arguments sake) to the actual communities?

    ... more to come ...



Similar Threads

  1. Fair Trade Coffee Beans
    By Barry_Jeffrey in forum General Coffee Related...
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 24th April 2011, 04:09 PM
  2. Catching Up with Fair Trade...
    By Dimal in forum General Coffee Related...
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 12th February 2010, 06:40 PM
  3. fair trade coffeair trade
    By la_java_beany in forum General Coffee Related...
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 16th August 2006, 05:35 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •