Monday, September 12, 2005


needless division

"a battle for coffee drinkers' consciences is about to begin with the launch of a rival to the fairtrade label."

why is this subject always presented like this? i've never understood the tension between the advocates of fairtrade and environmental coffees like rainforest alliance or bird friendly.

sometimes you will hear fairtrade people say with disdain "those environmental people care only about trees and not about the farmers." you see some of this attitude towards the end of the above article.

and likewise you will sometimes hear environmental coffee people retort "when the environment is ruined, unfit for agriculture, the farmers surely starve and are forced to migrate." but i think this divide is much smaller now than in the past.

everyone understands that the goal -- quality specialty coffee production and an end to the so-called "coffee crisis" -- requires both a healthy ecosystem and healthy, educated farm families. that is, both of these goals must be considered in tandem!

that's why i personally long for a unified certification system. i want to know my coffee is high-quality, bird-friendly, tree-friendly, organic, even bio-dynamic, all that.

those factors will of themselves give farmers a better price. as former scaa prez, greenie, and pro coffee cupper steve colten is famous for saying, "quality begets price begets quality."

it's an upward spiral, yes?

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