Fair Trade

I came across a comment written by Jon Danzig on a previous post about coffee prices and a little bit on how increased prices can help a coffee farmer, as seen here. What Mr Danzig left in the comment portion of my post was a link to youtube video about a movement in the United Kingdom in the 1970's called Campaign Coffee.

Basically Campaign Coffee was about buying coffee from an instant coffee plant in Tanzania and then selling it in the UK. This was one of the first 'fair trade' campaigns before it was known as fair trade. They were able to sell twenty thousands packs of coffee and was a great sucess in it's time. One of the interesting things that I liked about the campaign is that they included a lot of information about the coffee. They were even able to show how much of the money you used to purchase the coffee went to the farmers, it was 28 pence at the time compared to the average of 5 pence.

Mr Danzig critized the current fair trade movement about it just being a label and doesn't connect people with those that are growing their food. I think this is something that sorely lacking in coffee as well. I hear that with the pour over movement that coffee shops want to create a conversation with the customers about the people that grew the coffee. However, I have not experienced this myself, I would like this to happen because I think it would encourage people to fresh ethical coffee and even make me a better buyer of it.

I believe having a great conversation and a sense of being connected to the coffee farmer like Mr Danzig wants, would be beneficial to fair trade coffee. Campaign Coffee was able to be successful by selling instant coffee with a story, and I think that a good fresh roasted coffee with similar message could be better. Just speaking personally if given the choice between two equally good coffees and I have the opportunity to choose fair trade and I am given a good story with it I will probably chose the fair trade most of the time.

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