Made In The U.S.A.

How about a nice cup of Uh Oh?

In Edibles on January 18, 2009 at 10:45 pm

1.4.09: I’ve been doing some research to head off Coffeegate before the ____ hits the ___.

Kona coffee is grown only in specific districts of the big island of Hawaii. It has “developed a reputation that has made it one of the most expensive and sought-after coffees in the world.”

Great.

How about the largest coffee seller in the world?  It turns out that Starbucks sells a 10% Kona blend, meaning 90% of the remainder of the coffee comes from Latin America. My friends were wrong, too. Not all Starbucks coffee is Fair Trade, but some of it is. From Wikipedia:

In 2000, the company introduced a line of Fair Trade products. Of the approximately 300 million pounds of coffee Starbucks purchased in 2006, about 6 percent was certified as fair trade. They have become the largest buyer of Certified Fair Trade coffee in North America (10% of the global market).

Beyond Fair Trade Certification, Starbucks argues that it pays above market prices for all of its coffee. According to the company, in 2004 it paid on average $1.42 per pound for high-quality coffee beans. This is in comparison to commodity prices which were as low as $0.50–$0.60 in 2003–2004.

I guess if you’re gonna buy imported goods, at least Fair Trade goods are a better option.

And the definition of Fair Trade? Via Wikipedia:

Fair trade is an organized social movement and market-based approach to empowering developing country producers and promoting sustainability. The movement advocates the payment of a fair price as well as social and environmental standards in areas related to the production of a wide variety of goods. It focuses in particular on exports from developing countries to developed countries, most notably handicrafts, coffee, cocoa, sugar, tea, bananas, honey, cotton, wine, fresh fruit and flowers.

Fair trade’s strategic intent is to deliberately work with marginalized producers and workers in order to help them move from a position of vulnerability to one of security and economic self-sufficiency. It also aims at empowering them to become stakeholders in their own organizations and actively play a wider role in the global arena to achieve greater equity in international trade. Fair trade proponents include a wide array of international development aid, social, religious and environmental organizations such as Oxfam, Amnesty International, Catholic Relief Services, and Caritas International.

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starbucks fair trade

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