25 February 2008
Fairtrade or Feartrade?

I’ve been enjoying the free-market wonk tag-team ambush of Fairtrade Fortnight as evidenced by the efforts of the ASI and the Globalisation Institute’s Alex Singleton.  OK, so it smacks of co-ordination and planning - precisely the sort of things that free-marketeers are not well known for - but, still: heh!

However, one really shouldn’t laugh.  Alex’s piece in the Telegraph inspired this comment from Henry Cave Devine:

I was the acting Chief Exective of the largest independent coffee and tea trader in the world in the early 1990’s and found all that you have mentioned and even worse to be true. I want to highlight some of your points toward the end of your article to make clear that the mega-growers also ship and sell their lower quality beans into the Fairtrade markets through brokers and receive the subsidized “charity price” from the “socially responsible” rather unquestioning public. This is exactly what was meant to be avoided, and it is done in huge volumes.

Which he then followed up with this:

Three of my field agents were killed in 1991 because they tried to track down illegal shipments. It is a nasty business at times.

Titter ye not.

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  1. I have a new Fairtrade logo at my blog today - http://www.di2.nu/200802/26.htm

    Posted by Francis Turner on 26 February 2008 at 04:42pm

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