donderdag 4 november 2010


International Fair Trade organisations are doing a great effort to provide a decent wage for small coffee farmers in developing countries.
Coffee is big business. All over the world, people consume coffee. Every day new coffee shops are established. A few big corporations make billions of dollars of profits a year, whereas more than 20 million traditional coffee farming families experience difficulties making the necessary profits and maintain their businesses. They can’t compete with the multinationals, therefore they often have to leave their home and have to work underpaid in a big coffee plantation.
The situation is getting worse. Due to falling coffee prices, the farmers earn even less. That’s why some farmers have to borrow  money from agents, loans which they cannot repay. That’s why certain organisations, including Oxfam, are trying to find a way out of this misery for many local farmers, so that the global South gets equal chances to develop.The Fair Trade system guarantees  a minimum wage of 1,26 USD per pound of coffee, so that farmers can meet their basic needs. In this system, everybody benefits, and so do the farmers. Of course, Fair Trade coffee is more expensive. But a  recent survey indicates that 41% of Canadians would be more than  willing to pay a little extra for Fair Trade coffee.
According to me, it’s extremely important  that the developed countries invest in Fair Trade products. I think consumers can have a big influence in this. I totally agree with Lobke. We all know that local producers are exploited by multinationals. If we don’t stand up for them, who will? If we don’t demand Fair Trade products, large corporations will keep on exploiting local farmers, in order to offer the cheapest products. Multinationals make billions of dollars a day, whereas the local producers don’t even earn a decent living. But if we, mostly Western consumers, are willing to pay more for Fair Trade products, we can help the development of local economies. In the end, the whole world will benefit.
Justine Bleuze - Group 5

1 opmerking:

  1. I totally agree that unfair competition of the bigger producers is why the smaller farmers aren't be able to earn a decent living. It's like a closed circle, impossible to get in.

    You can say that what Oxfam is trying to do is creating a "new market" for the same product. They create extra value by taking the consumer behind the scenes. It's this extra value that makes peoples willing to pay a little more.

    Jules Branswyck - Group 5