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Default Fair trade coffee in Oaxaca...

I am watching some documentary on the growing fair trade certification
movement for various consumer products, and right now they're talking
about coffee plantations in Oaxaca, Mexico.

I tried the local coffee when I visited Oaxaca and it was very good,
but it seems that most of the regional coffee plantations had been
abandoned because they could no longer compete with the glut of cheap
robusta beans being produced by Brazil and Vietnam. Even though
robusta is nasty, it is much cheaper to grow and contains more caffeine
and is typically blended with arabica for the mass-market blends like
Folgers (hint: if the label doesn't brag about being 100% arabica, then
it isn't).

Anyway, several plantations in Oaxaca were saved by joining that fair
trade certification co-op, because the market price for fair-trade
coffee was high enough to make them profitable. This is all good, but
then I was listening them talk about how fair trade coffee could fetch
double the price on the world market - perhaps triple if it's organic,
too - and it occurred to me that a Mexican farmer could easily purchase
a few tons of cheap beans from Vietnam or Brazil and then re-sell them
as his own crop for twice the price, or likely a 50% or more profit
after transportation and repackaging. Since this is in Mexico, which
invented just about every way to scam a system, I assume that it is
occurring and that free trade coffee may be just as exploitative as
mass-market coffee.
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