I have been seeing a lot of chocolate bars with the Fair Trade certification lately. I might be a bit cynical, but it seems like certifications, like the Fair Trade certification, is more of a marketing gimmick. It would be great if the chocolate bar companies actually show the "fruits of their labor" by publicizing what are actually happening at their "fair trade" farms. I guess I'm just not supportive of organizations that act like they are doing good in the world, when only a small percentage of their bars are considered Fair Trade.
How about a certification called "Sustainable Trade"? The organization claiming "Sustainable Trade" practices would need to prove that the grower of their beans is being paid a multiple of market prices at the time of purchase. For example, I pay one of my growers TWICE market price at the time of the sale, but still can't call Choklat "Fair Trade" even though it's far more fair than the BS Fair Trade certification that the general public dotes on.
Just thinking out loud here....
I applaud your commitment to paying for improved quality, irrespective of formal certifications, which often return dubious value while guaranteeing increased costs of production.
I think a more beneficial way to think about pricing is to decouple it from commodity market and ask questions like, "Does the price paid reflect the true cost of production?", and "Does the price paid enable the grower/producer to support their family, sustain their farms, and strengthen their community?" Often, even double the market price is still not enough to answer yes to those questions.
The market price is not reflective of anything concrete. One the one hand, there is a forecast shortfall of 1 million metric tonnes in less than a decade. One bank expects, because of forecast record harvests in West Africa, for the price to be at $2300/MT this time next year and another expects it to be at $2700. In the meantime, the ICCO spot price has plummeted by nearly 30% (from over $3100/MT to under $2200/MT) since July. And that's the CIF price (delivered, customs, insurance, freight), not the price paid at the farm gate.
For everyone out there thinking about what's "fair" go to the grocery store and think about how shockingly cheap many bars of chocolate are. As long as that's the norm - and that's the expectation, then "Fair" trade isn't.
You have a point, and I believe this was something that was discussed at length in another thread somewhere on this forum. I think the consensus was that a more "sustainable" deal was one that was tied to the socio-economic conditions of origin.
Thanks for the reminder.
ECO Social buy IBD!!!