this reply from greenlagirl:
I don't support farm subsidies either, but I totally disagree with the "right wing" notion that fair trade is a handout. I think it's a choice on the part of the consumer to opt to pay the social and environmental costs of coffee.
I totally agree that there's a huge coffee glut right now -- But I think the fair trade movement works to remedy that. To qualify for fair trade certification, coffee co-ops have to work to 1. diversify their crops, and 2. improve their coffee quality. They're also strongly encouraged to cultivate organic, shade-grown coffee -- all efforts that'll reduce the coffee glut and produce better-tasting, more environmentally friendly coffee.
Unfortunately, as of now, people associate fair trade coffee with just higher prices (handouts) paid to farmers -- A very incomplete view of fair trade efforts...
Still, how can you drink the 7-11 stuff? That shit's truly heinous -- and I'm thinking about taste here, not socio-environmental kindness --
Anyway, we can talk about this more the next time we see each other ;) Hey, what's happened to all your curating activities?
And about wine -- Have you tried the Finca Solano tempranillo Crianza? The stuff's truly yummy -- and cheap, via Trader Joe's! The owner even wrote me after I wrote about it:
I also recommend Some of the stuff from Wally's Wine in Westwood:
and the organic Louis Jadot Beaujolais-Villages – avaliable at Bristol Farm's.
Seriously, the stuff's improved :)
I'll be looking out for the Hello Kitty work!