Saturday, April 09, 2005
Fair Trade is not Fair
Last week's Spectator carried an article by Leo McKinsey about the inequities of the Fair Trade boom, as promoted by organisations such as Oxfam. One of the best points he makes, in the course of the usual defence of free trade, is that we cannot possibly support all farmers through Fair Trade, so some are being severely impoverished by this activity. Plus, we are of course, creating a Third World equivalent of the EU butter mountain, with way too many farmers now producing the favorite Fair Trade commodity, coffee. Coffee prices are therefore, despite Fair Trade purposes, dropping on the world market and those farmers who should have committed themselves to producing other crops are finding themselves up the creek.