When Local Food Is The Rage, Is Fairtrade Still Green?
Lucy Siegle of the Guardian explains the so-called paradoxes of buying Fairtrade:
The often-quoted paradox around Fairtrade is that it forces the consumer to choose between a local piece of fruit and a developing-nation one with all its attendant food miles and carbon footprint. This, again, misses the point. Fairtrade certifies commodities that we do not commonly grow or mine here - cotton, gold, bananas, nuts, cocoa - and which have particular global problems attached to them: for instance, African cotton farmers have been left on the brink of starvation thanks to subsidies paid to US farmers. By choosing any of these commodities, you are already taking yourself out of the local sphere. Why not, as a starting point, pay the producer a fair price where the premium goes back to the producer community?
We don't grow cocoa or coffee. It doesn't ship by airfreight. There is no paradox. More in the Guardian on PSFK.