Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Tea Talk Tuesday - Fair Trade

Good Morning: Welcome to Tea Talk Tuesday, on Tuesday this week.
Today I am going to talk about Fair Trade, a good idea with a controversial side to it.

Fair Trade is an international system intended to guarantee fair wages and decent working conditions for farm workers and promote the use of sustainable farming methods. So far so good. To be certified fair trade, tea estates first have to meet specific standards concerning wages, child labor, working conditions and labor organization. FAIR TRADE teas rebate a portion of the purchase price directly to the workers of that tea estate.

It sounds great, but it is a bit like using a sledge hammer to crack peanuts. Which is not to say I don't believe in fair trade. I certainly support the goals of fair trade. I also know that many small tea farmers cannot afford the certification process and are working already to support their employees in ways that meet the goal, if not the standard. These farmers need a place at the table too.

Thanks to James Norwood Pratt's Tea Dictionary for the basic information. Published by Tea Society Press, San Francisco, CA 2010, printed in India.

See you Friday!


No comments:

Post a Comment