3.19.2006

key: ratchet set from garage

manual aeration -- gosh, a lot of work, hopefully works well enough for our purposes
now, having breathe out of the way, and weed, to seed and feed

our we surprised by the fair trade pricing boondoggle? heck no, because retaiers are big corporations, duh

fyi for those in california, ralph's is kroger and von's and pavillions are safeway, food for less is A&P

Fair Trade labels do not list the amount paid to farmers, which requires research. The amount can vary depending on the commodity. An analysis using information from TransFair shows that cocoa farmers get 3 cents of the $3.49 spent on a 3.5-ounce chocolate bar labeled "organic fair trade" sold at Target stores. Farmers receive 24 cents for a one-pound bag of fair trade sugar sold at Whole Foods markets for $3.79.

Coffee producers received $1.26, higher than the commodity rate of $1.10, whether he paid $10 or $6 for that fair trade coffee.

"There is no reason why fair trade should cost astronomically more than traditional products," said Nicole Chettero, a spokeswoman for TransFair USA. "As the demand and volume of Fair Trade certified products increase, retailers will naturally start to drop prices to remain competitive."

Each fair trade commodity has its own fair trade price, or the lowest price that farmers will receive even if conventional commodity prices fall. That price is meant to allow them to cover their production costs and improve their lives.

Yet a price that is fair in one country may not be in another. In Brazil, "$1.26 per pound for coffee is a fortune," said Kevin Knox, a coffee consultant in Boulder, Colorado. "In the forest in the mountains of Mexico, the money barely is enough to justify doing it," Knox said.

In some cases, the individual farmers may receive less than fair trade rules require because the money goes to cooperatives, whose directors who decide how much to pass on to farmers. "We did a breakdown and saw that sometimes, what they're paying farmers is only 70 cents to 80 cents a pound" for coffee, said Christy Thorns, a buyer at Allegro Coffee in Thornton, Colorado.

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