I have recently seen a lot of tweets and comments on articles relating to quality assurance problems with some Fair Trade goods , particularly coffee. Before I purchased a very bad bag of ground coffee from a major box store, I hadn’t had any buy-in to the discussion. The taste at the local grocery store was no different than a bottom of the barrel can of loud, freeze-dried coffee that one could find in a regular package. Here is the blog link.
It actually wasn’t a major deal for me, because I am usually very happily shocked by the price of fair trade coffee. It made me think, however, of a point posed in a 2011 article in Colleen Haight’s Stanford Social Review called, “The Issue with Fair Trade Coffee.” Among other legitimate criticisms, the writer pointed out that certain farmers might supply fair trade buyers with lower quality beans, reserving the very best beans to receive gourmet rates, thereby guaranteeing top dollar earnings in both tranches The writer neglected to note that, as a consequence of customer reviews, fair trade accredited coffees under various brands have increased their quality levels in recent years.
In reality, there is already a persistent movement to sell Fair Trade coffee in the highest gourmet coffee classes; and from what I can claim at least, Fair Trade coffee retains these and every other higher expectations. The main problem could be this: how much the advertisers grasp, communicate with, and report their coffee beans origins. When the business selling the organic trade coffee maintains a hands-off approach to their supply stream their consumers are more likely to be annoyed by success or error, or even low product regularly. But if growers are conscious of the quality criteria they are more willing to attempt to follow these expectations in order to receive the higher bean compensation. In fact, advertisers ought to be able to convince their customers why charging a little more for the coffee is both essential and productive for the customers. We need to demonstrate how farmers and their families are utilizing the extra capital for meaningful results.
Such openness is essential for all types of marketing which is ethically focused. Fair trade apparel is one area where the desire for accountability will turn out to be very challenging. One concern is that the field of wholesale apparel is particularly competitive and chancesy. When a Fair Trade garment label reveals so much regarding its suppliers, other, more unethical companies may seek to tempt employees away from their cooperatives, selling the same products as the cooperative without any restrictions on contributing back to the group.
This pattern has been witnessed time and time again while manufacturing wholesale scarves. Since scarves don’t have to be made in a variety of sizes and are perfect items for hand looms, any organization willing to visit the villages and look for individual weavers and support staff can simply co-opt the designs already in existence.
The need for transparency for all products which are ethically oriented. If we’re thinking about food or fair trade apparel buyers ought to realize that their transactions are meaningful-that there ‘s plenty of good cause to invest a bit extra on the products. Particularly important for this calculation is quality assurance, because customers would like to look, see, taste-experience the way Fair Trade goods stand head and shoulders in the fray. Therefore, if we want the Fair Trade mark to represent something we ought to insure that the additional capital that is invested is placed to really good use. And we shouldn’t be shying off self-criticism. We have to be able to evolve and adjust to the growing environment. If fair trade status continues to weaken, it is up to us to follow these principles and insure that we push ourselves and our organisations and come through for the world’s long-term benefit.