Patrick Say: March 2017
Myth 4: "Fairtrade locks farmers into a fixed price" You may have read about the 'Fairtrade Minimum Price', this is indeed a real thing. But it's a safety net, calculated to cover farmers costs of production, and only coming into play in a worst case scenario. It is not something that locks farmers into a fixed price.
Let's use the example of Maria -- a farmer from a Fairtrade coffee cooperative in Colombia — to explain. In simple terms, if the market price of coffee falls below the Minimum Price set in the Fairtrade Standards, then under Fairtrade, Maria's cooperative would receive this guaranteed Fairtrade Minimum Price.
This safety net means Maria and other farmers in her coop can cover their production costs which helps them to predict their income and budget for the future. However -- and this is really important -- if the market price of coffee is above the Minimum Price, then the buyer must pay the higher price. And of course they can also negotiate higher prices on the basis of quality and other factors. This is something that people often don't pick up on, assuming that under Fairtrade farmers receive a fixed, flat rate that can never change, even if the market price of the crop they're growing is high.
It's also worth remembering that in addition to the receiving Minimum Price or market price, Fairtrade producers receive a bonus-type payment called the 'Fairtrade Premium'. This is an extra sum of money that they decide democratically how best to spend. Some might spend it on improved training and farming techniques, others on building schools and medical clinics. Fairtrade doesn't dictate what it's spent on, it's entirely up to the producers, but in the interests of transparency Premium spending is audited.
popular recent storiesAlso in the news
Might you, or someone you know, be interested in attending Parentalk? Parentalk gives parents the opportunity to share experiences, explore parenting principles, watch real life stories and animations, befriend other parents and more. The sessions are for an hour and a half and the course is run over 6 weeks. Children are welcome and will be catered for.As to what we would do, we will watch...
The highly personable and musically talented Oliver and Samuel Hancock delighted a very appreciative audience in the church with 'An Evening of Flanders and Swann' on Saturday 8th February. Flanders and Swann's songs are characterised by wit, gentle satire, complex rhyming schemes, linguistic play and memorable choruses. The evening was well summed up by two concert-goers writing to...
On Saturday 26 January twelve avid Good-Faith book readers met to discuss Marcus Borg's book "Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time." We all agreed, whether we were more or less familiar with Borg's ideas, we all had, indeed, seen Jesus afresh through the reading or rereading of this book! The style of Borg's writing is scholarly, logical and assessible, which made it easy...