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Fair trade coffee pros and cons

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Fair Trade Coffee The Pros and Cons

Agriculture methods that push for more coffee production result in a poorer quality product.This has a ripple effect of hurting the farming community, especially the third world small coffee farmer. The world market is flooded with cheap, poor quality coffee from over-producers. The small coffee estates cannot compete in the market, and many lose their farms. Under the current trade system, less than 10% of what consumers pay for the coffee even gets to the original coffee grower. The Fair Trade Act is a solution for these problems. Fair trade coffee is bought directly from each individual farm. This eliminates the middle man.

When the middle man is eliminated, it becomes possible for the farmers to make a living and support their families. Cheap goods often mean someone has had to work in appalling conditions for low pay. Bargain can mean exploitation. Free trade often means unfair trade. Globalization, which has a tendency to look at the world as one huge profit potential without borders, is mostly to blame for unfair trade. If a company can get someone in a third world country to produce goods for next to nothing, greed and corruption enter, and the rest is history. Fair trade coffee ensures all coffee farmers are playing on a level field.

Free trade in theory sounds good, but removing all barriers to trade hurts small coffee farmers who arent big enough to compete. Consumers can help by purchasing only fair trade coffee. Fair trade coffee can cost more, so that middle income people cannot afford it. Until it reaches mass markets, fair trade will ultimately not work. Unfortunately, the fair trade brand can be faked, and some unscrupulous manufacturers have used the label falsely to try to sell more products. A false label probably also means unethical practices were used to produce the product. Fraud is the result.

Modernization is linked to industrialization. A society that is rural or agrarian becomes secularized, urban, and industrial when modernized. Of course, this hurts the small coffee farmer. Price fixing, which is often illegal, means a manufacturer attempts to control the retail price of a product. It does not allow the price of a product to be naturally determined by the free market. This does not always benefit the small farmer who grows fair trade coffee. Fair trade has cons also. It often ignores the laws of supply and demand. Just as modernization hurts rural coffee farmers, too many small coffee producers drive the price of coffee down.