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Thread: Fairtrade vs Premium: Who benefits????

  1. #1
    jur
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    Fairtrade vs Premium: Who benefits????

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Check this video:
    "Combating Global Poverty with a Cup of Coffee" | LearnLiberty - YouTube

    She argues that it is better to buy premium instead of Fairtrade (yes and I have seen numerous posts here about the so-called fairtrade and how it is no good). The problem is that it isn't just farmers (read landowners) who should benefit but the workers who do the actual labour. The workers move from farm to farm and hardly scrape a living. They do better at the premium farms where more care is put into the beans.

    So I wonder how faircrack could benefit the workers. I have had a quick look through the projects and see things like pulpers and the like which benefit farmers.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Barry O'Speedwagon's Avatar
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    How hard did you look? There are also clean water projects, blankets for workers etc..

    But regardless, how do you think the employment prospects of the locals play out if business cannot generate cash flows to pay them?

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    Super Moderator Javaphile's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jur View Post
    So I wonder how faircrack could benefit the workers. I have had a quick look through the projects and see things like pulpers and the like which benefit farmers.
    If that's all you saw then you need to not only look closer you need to educate yourself about the places and people who have been the recipients of FairCrack funds/projects. The farmers are the workers. The entire community has benefited from our projects. Not just the workers but their entire families as well.


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  4. #4
    jur
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    Hey don't attack me - I saw the other faircrack projects too, I am merely raising awareness of this angle presented in the video.

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    Senior Member fatboy_1999's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jur View Post
    Hey don't attack me - I saw the other faircrack projects too, I am merely raising awareness of this angle presented in the video.
    Well, not exactly.
    You did say:
    So I wonder how faircrack could benefit the workers. I have had a quick look through the projects and see things like pulpers and the like which benefit farmers.
    And I agree with the other responses that having a read through the Faircrack stats CoffeeSnobs - BeanBay - FairCrack Stats is a pretty clear way to see how it benefits the workers.

    And seriously, do you think that was an attack?

  6. #6
    CoffeeSnobs Owner Andy's Avatar
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    Hi Jur,

    They do better at the premium farms where more care is put into the beans.
    Her argument has some merit but her logic is flawed. The land holder gets paid a higher price for "premium coffees" and there is still no mechanism for any extra income to go to his workers. There is every chance they still get paid the minimum possible.

    She was also wrong about Fairtrade only working with land holders, Fairtrade certification is based on co-ops, not land owners.

    So I wonder how faircrack could benefit the workers. I have had a quick look through the projects and see things like pulpers and the like which benefit farmers.
    I'm surprised that someone who has been a member and customer here for a couple of years doesn't understand how FairCrack is different... VERY different. Obviously I've not conveyed the model properly (and certainly didn't hire a production crew to produce a slick video!)

    FairCrack projects to date have all been to subsistence farmers who are typically picking coffee where it grows naturally as opposed to the large scale farming on big estates with rows of coffee trees.

    The term "farmer" could be translated to mega dollar land holder with millions in equity or could also be used to describe someone who walks into a national park and picks wild grown coffee cherry to sell to feed their family. FairCrack projects have been supporting the later type of "coffee farmer".

    Pulpers that have been purchased for villages on Kilimanjaro are for communal use in the village and is typically the only source of income for the whole village. Prior to the FairCrack pulpers the locals would pick coffee on the mountain and process the coffee in a bucket with a broomstick, this was worth less than $1/kg when sold to the local mill. The addition of the pulpers, running water and raised drying beds has resulted in those same villagers receiving up to $8/kg for the same, well processed beans at the mill.

    The hand pulpers that we have just purchased for Vanuatu are similar, they will go to families that currently have to drag bags of coffee cherry into town to sell to the mill. The hand pulper along with the plastic and shade cloth will allow them to process better and receive a higher price for a better coffee at market.

    As mentioned above FairCrack has also provided blankets which helped reduce deforestation and reduce the risk of lung disease along with fresh water supply which allowed year-round vegetable growing along with the obvious heath benefits from having clean water and the fact that you didn't have carry it on your head for 2km.

    Have another look at the FairCrack projects to date:
    FairCrack Projects

    There are also a pile of videos on Youtube:
    MrCoffeesnob's channel - YouTube
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  7. #7
    Super Moderator Javaphile's Avatar
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    Don't attack you? The only attack that has happened here is yours.

    You admit you saw all the FairCrack projects. That being the case then you knew that they benefited the entire community. Yet you intentionally chose to ignore that in order to cast aspersions on FairCrack there-by insulting this entire community and everything FairCrack stands for.


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  8. #8
    jur
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    Hey Javaphile (and others),

    I see I am guilty of doing my usual thing of assuming others can read my thoughts... I apologise for putting you under an erroneous impression by stating things so poorly. I was not doubting the good results, no, fantastic results of faircrack, neither was it at all my intention to cast a negative light on faircrack - in fact the opposite. So really, my sincere apologies for doing my usual unclear posting.

    What I intended (and I hope I am clear) was to bring the video under the members' attention so it can be discussed for the merits. Nothing more. I have always had the fullest admiration for the faircrack projects. As one born in Africa I can appreciate that probably more than most here.

    When I wrote I wonder how faircrack can benefit workers, it was pure curiosity, not negative anything. English is not my native language so I tend to put things strangely sometimes.

    So please forgive me chaps. I meant everything in the most positive light possible, just wrote poorly.
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    Senior Member chokkidog's Avatar
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    Well, that seems better,............. I read the original post this morning, saw red, wrote and then cancelled some responses before opting just to leave the house
    for the rest of the day.

    jur, don't let the faux pas deter you from participating but might I suggest that when you write a post, walk away for a while, then come back and review
    what you have written, asking if it conveys your meaning. Better to be wordy and understood, than brief and misunderstood. ;-)

  10. #10
    jur
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    Hopefully any unpleasantness has been banished :-) now remains some Legitimate Questions...

    Legitimate question 1:

    Blankets at Kilimanjaro? How does this impact village life in a place on the equator where there is no winter, just varying degrees of oppressive humid heat? Methinks blankets might actually be in use as fashion items.

    Legitimate alternative 1: Mosquito nets, malaria being killer #1.
    Legitimate alternative 2: Energy efficient wood stoves. If smoky huts are bad (and they are, I have been imvolved in a trgic case of CO poisoning in a smoky hut), then the smoke is most probably from cooking fires. No heating required at Kilimanjaro. Hence my suggestion for the wood stove. It consists of an inner fire chamber surrounded by heatproof fibre ie fat batts inside an outer chamber. These cook up a storm using far less wood.

  11. #11
    CoffeeSnobs Owner Andy's Avatar
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    Sigh...

    Quote Originally Posted by jur View Post
    Blankets at Kilimanjaro? How does this impact village life in a place on the equator where there is no winter, just varying degrees of oppressive humid heat? Methinks blankets might actually be in use as fashion items.

    MountKilimanjaro.jpg

    Kili with icing sugar on top!

  12. #12
    Senior Member chokkidog's Avatar
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    Sigh +1

    Ignorance isn't bliss, it's a menace.

    Methinks someone isn't thinking at all, stereotyping maybe.


    You photoshop that Andy? ;-)
    That icing sugar!! Beautiful, how sweet!!
    Couldn't be snow, not on the equator, there's only hot steamy jungle on the equator, bwa..

    Nuff from me.........

  13. #13
    Senior Member Vinitasse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy View Post
    Sigh...
    Very big sigh!!!

    Please find attached two graphs. One depicts an overhead view of Uhuru (aka Mt Kilimanjaro) and the locations of various stations at various altitudes on the mountain. The second graph shows the average monthly temps for these locations. With low temps below 10 degrees C in the warmest zone, and then growing colder as altitude increases I can certainly see why blankets would be very much needed and appreciated by those working in the coffee trade. Xenophobic stereotypes don't help much so perhaps a bit of edumacation might prove helpful for some.


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  14. #14
    Senior Member Barry O'Speedwagon's Avatar
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    Gee Jur........are you serious my friend? I mean, after the first effort (the OP), one might have thought that you'd check the facts underpinning your assertions.....which once more added up to criticising the efforts of people who are trying to help those less fortunate than themselves. Why not err on the side of caution, rather than muckraking that you can't simply take back?

  15. #15
    jur
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    Gee you guys are a bit preciois aren't you? Who's insulting who here?

    Does anybody here actually know the temperatures/altitude of settlements on kili? It is common knowledge it is below freezing at night as you ascend but at the base and lower slopes the pretty graphs don't hold. As far as i know there are no settlements above 1800m. So before you post any of your patronising graphs and sighs, can you actually answer the legitimate question? What is the altitude where the villages are locared? It os an honest question which deserves an honest answer, not patronising rubbish.

  16. #16
    TC
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    Quote Originally Posted by jur View Post
    Gee you guys are a bit preciois (sic) aren't you? Who's insulting who here?
    And then some choose to rock the boat solely to gain pleasure from rocking the boat.

    If the model does not work to your satisfaction jur, you can opt out and instead donate (or not) to any of the myriad of top heavy organisations which will gobble most or all of it up in administrative costs. Perhaps that will deliver an equatorial warm glow.

    I gain great satisfaction in the knowledge that my money makes a difference rather than being pissed up against a wall somewhere.

  17. #17
    Super Moderator Javaphile's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jur View Post
    Does anybody here actually know the temperatures/altitude of settlements on kili?
    Yes we do, and if you'd bother to do some simple digging on your own (Like using the information contained in the very first FairCrack projects thread.) you too could know the elevations of some of the villages we've been working with. A few more button clicks and key strokes would also inform you that even at elevations below 900m (And the villages we've worked with are significantly higher than that.) in that area temperatures regularly drop to the point where heating/heavier clothing/blankets are required.


    Java "Google is your friend" phile
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  18. #18
    Senior Member fatboy_1999's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jur View Post
    Gee you guys are a bit preciois aren't you? Who's insulting who here?

    Does anybody here actually know the temperatures/altitude of settlements on kili? It is common knowledge it is below freezing at night as you ascend but at the base and lower slopes the pretty graphs don't hold. As far as i know there are no settlements above 1800m. So before you post any of your patronising graphs and sighs, can you actually answer the legitimate question? What is the altitude where the villages are locared? It os an honest question which deserves an honest answer, not patronising rubbish.
    Sounding more and more like a troll now.

    You have chosen to take a confrontational style of writing.
    It would have been simple for you to come in with ideas for new faircrack projects (backed up by actual facts) but instead you chose to question the legitimacy of previous projects.
    Do you honestly think that it was decided to throw a bunch of blankets at a community that didn't even want or need them?
    Do you honestly think there was no consultation with people who actually live and work there and really know the weather conditions?

    I personally believe that you are just trying to stir the pot. You have no genuine interest in trying to make things better, you just want to have a whinge and see if you can rile people.

    I'm very proud to be associated with Faircrack (in my small way) and have 100% faith in the decisions that have been made thus far for the allocation of funds. Andy and others involved sure as hell do more than I do to help people. Good on them!

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    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    Faircrack raises funds from every coffee bean sold, not just Fairtrade or Premium coffee, right?
    Faircrack injects those funds directly at the farms in the way of useful goods, right?
    So, Jur agrees that Faircrack is a great initiative and is wondering how he can help the Faircrack project research other ways to assist the workers? <insert Jur's head nodding here>

    NB: i'm aware of the failings of Fairtrade, and I don't think paying a premium price for premium coffee will fix the problem either. I do believe that the Faircrack project is a lot of good energy, great people, special effort and money in the right place.



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