Friday, March 06, 2009

Mrs. Scholar writes 

This month it's about one of my favorite examples fair trade coffee.
The coffee market is volatile, and when the price goes up, the farmers are often the last to get paid more for their crop.

Reflecting on our conversation while enjoying the aroma of freshly brewed coffee, I wondered what would happen to the farmers if people quit drinking their lattes?

Fair trade coffee raises prices, which encourages people to stay in coffee production. But is this the best use of their labor?

Coffee prices rise and fall by large amounts, alternatively enriching and impoverishing these farmers. Would they be better off with fewer farms and farmers, but with more labor to produce other goods that generate value?

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