Do we need yet another Fairtrade label?

Fairtrade USA has decided to launch its own new fair trade label as part of its split from the International Fairtrade Labelling Organisation (FLO). Fairtrade USA has made the decision to expand its certification to coffee estates and plantations as well as to the existing certified small farmer co-operatives.

There is a lot of debate about whether this is the right decision – some argue that FT USA are pursuing volume of sales over the quality and representation of the certified organisations. FT USA argue that pursuing greater volume of products and companies certified will increase consumer awareness and demand for Fairtrade products.

But, do we need yet another label – another thing for farmers, farmer organisations, roasters and consumers to get their heads around?

What if we put more effort collectively in to helping people to get beyond badges and regulatory systems? Is this just lazy consumerism? Why have we become so dependent as consumers on labels and badges on products? In this internet age, where we can find out almost anything we want to with a little bit of effort, we seem to rely more and more on symbols on packets.

Tell us what you think?



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