from a post to greenlagirl -- obviously I am not a green!
I think fair trade as a concept is seriously flawed, although I realize that in reality there is no free trade; my background in fair trade is mostly from oddly right wing trade unionism in Illinois
there is a worldwide coffee glut (also a wine glut, but no complaints from me about that), and since coffee growing depletes the soil so much that it has exacerbated worldwide deforestation, having more small farmers try to support themselves growing a product it doesn’t pay to grow – in other words, I don’t support any farm subsidies or price supports, including those in the US to support “the American way of life – farming”, and think many many coffee growers ought to go out of business and do something else instead; I don’t know that pressuring corporate resellers to pay more for their raw materials works
on the other hand, while I don’t like what Monsanto is doing, what the US government is paying for them to do, and what the US government is pressing some Latin American countries to allow Monsanto to do to their farming industries, I don’t think banning technology (like GMOs) per se ever works, only boycotting or refusing to allow certain corrupt financial practices, subsidies, etc. So if I were motivated, I would be motivated to lobby to discontinue state & federal funding and subsidies of agribusiness, not motivated to pressure starbucks or whole foods or whatever. I shop cheap.
I’m not supposed to have milk or caffeine or sugar any more, so that put the kibosh on my occasional Starbucks splurge – always an occasional splurge – I’ve almost always bought coffee from 7-11 or AM/PM where it is cheaper or made it at home and brought it in, or drunk it at work if it is free, and I don’t like soy (grew up in the “soybean capitol of the world” where our air & water is so poisoned by runoff and processing that most every woman eventually gets some form of cancer! and the water is now undrinkable! soy & corn sweetener agribusiness is not morally superior to steak…)
Now, why organic? See above, naturally, but... eh.... Although admittedly now there is some decent organic wine, while when I was in grad school, organic wine was truly foul.
you should mention the 7 free trees from the city & how the city free tree list is a good list of native trees / trees that grow well here in LA where people seem for some odd reason to hate trees; some woman in Venice did a really stupid LA Times article about how she wanted to hire a Mexican from Home Depot to dig the hole for her free tree (she could only find a place for one) because it was so hard to dig it