Tea (rec.drink.tea) Discussion relating to tea, the world's second most consumed beverage (after water), made by infusing or boiling the leaves of the tea plant (C. sinensis or close relatives) in water.

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Old 14-07-2005, 10:53 PM
Joe Doe
 
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Default Why we need to support Fair trade teas

I am providing a link to a series of pictures of workers in Indian tea
gardens.

While we enjoy our tea and concentrate on flavor and other nuances we
are largely oblivious to the plight of the tea producers.

See:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/shared/spl/h...uth_asia_india
_tea_workers/html/1.stm


While tea snobs can certainly not solve all the problems of the Tea
Industry perhaps purchasing fair trade teas may be one small step
towards helping them.

Roland

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Old 15-07-2005, 01:56 AM
toci
 
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Joe Doe wrote:
I am providing a link to a series of pictures of workers in Indian tea
gardens.

While we enjoy our tea and concentrate on flavor and other nuances we
are largely oblivious to the plight of the tea producers.

See:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/shared/spl/h...uth_asia_india
_tea_workers/html/1.stm


While tea snobs can certainly not solve all the problems of the Tea
Industry perhaps purchasing fair trade teas may be one small step
towards helping them.

Roland


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Old 15-07-2005, 01:56 AM
toci
 
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Default



Joe Doe wrote:
I am providing a link to a series of pictures of workers in Indian tea
gardens.

While we enjoy our tea and concentrate on flavor and other nuances we
are largely oblivious to the plight of the tea producers.

See:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/shared/spl/h...uth_asia_india
_tea_workers/html/1.stm


While tea snobs can certainly not solve all the problems of the Tea
Industry perhaps purchasing fair trade teas may be one small step
towards helping them.

Roland


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Old 15-07-2005, 01:59 AM
toci
 
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Fair trade tea has been discussed in this forum more than ten times.
The most recent time was last month. One nice thing about tea
drinkers, they tend to be polite. Toci

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Old 15-07-2005, 09:31 AM
Michael Plant
 
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Joe 7/14/05


I am providing a link to a series of pictures of workers in Indian tea
gardens.

While we enjoy our tea and concentrate on flavor and other nuances we
are largely oblivious to the plight of the tea producers.

See:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/shared/spl/h...uth_asia_india
_tea_workers/html/1.stm


While tea snobs can certainly not solve all the problems of the Tea
Industry perhaps purchasing fair trade teas may be one small step
towards helping them.

Roland


Here here, and thanks, Roland. Fair trade might also mean being willing to
pay enough money for the tea so that the workers can earn a decent amount.
I'm of course not talking about just paying high prices per se. More to
learn.

Michael



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Old 15-07-2005, 12:29 PM
toci
 
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It's always good to be on your toes in the commercial world. Toici

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Old 15-07-2005, 01:27 PM
Space Cowboy
 
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You could allow more Indians with green cards to work in the IS
industry displacing domestic workers. The infrastructure and labor of
the oil producing countries of the Middle East are Indian. Where's
there is money there are Indians. India can handle it's own labor
problems. This is nothing more than a guilt trip like starving
children who want me to give up part of my tea allowance so they can
eat some of the white bread which won't sell because of the Atkins
diet.

Jim

Michael Plant wrote:
Joe 7/14/05


I am providing a link to a series of pictures of workers in Indian tea
gardens.

While we enjoy our tea and concentrate on flavor and other nuances we
are largely oblivious to the plight of the tea producers.

See:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/shared/spl/h...uth_asia_india
_tea_workers/html/1.stm


While tea snobs can certainly not solve all the problems of the Tea
Industry perhaps purchasing fair trade teas may be one small step
towards helping them.

Roland


Here here, and thanks, Roland. Fair trade might also mean being willing to
pay enough money for the tea so that the workers can earn a decent amount.
I'm of course not talking about just paying high prices per se. More to
learn.

Michael


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Old 15-07-2005, 03:47 PM
Space Cowboy
 
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Historically Indian jobs are always overseas. They work hard and send
money back home. They should be willing to buy fair trade teas. Our
local news is a story of an Saudi family who kept an Indian woman a
virtual slave for domestic and love chores. I blame the IS problem on
Bill Gates who cried before Congress about a shortage of IS and now is
developing half of the next Windows release in India. I need to switch
to Linux.

Jim

Michael Plant wrote:
Space 7/15/05


You could allow more Indians with green cards to work in the IS
industry displacing domestic workers. The infrastructure and labor of
the oil producing countries of the Middle East are Indian. Where's
there is money there are Indians. India can handle it's own labor
problems. This is nothing more than a guilt trip like starving
children who want me to give up part of my tea allowance so they can
eat some of the white bread which won't sell because of the Atkins
diet.

Jim



Jim,

Why, you saw right through me. Your astute analysis shows me and the Indians
up. So, when did you develop this profound respect for Indian people? I'm
sure you meant nothing biased in your pronouncements.

Michael




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Old 15-07-2005, 04:07 PM
Michael Plant
 
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Funny you should mention Linux. I've been toying with that idea myself,
but, as was called to my attention, it would require my starting a brand new
hobby with lots of steep learning curve, and tea is about as intellectual as
I get.

BTW, I spent some time in India some time ago, and I did see a couple people
working at local jobs, so they can't all be IS'ers or be working overseas,
eh?

Michael

Space 7/15/05


Historically Indian jobs are always overseas. They work hard and send
money back home. They should be willing to buy fair trade teas. Our
local news is a story of an Saudi family who kept an Indian woman a
virtual slave for domestic and love chores. I blame the IS problem on
Bill Gates who cried before Congress about a shortage of IS and now is
developing half of the next Windows release in India. I need to switch
to Linux.

Jim

Michael Plant wrote:
Space
7/15/05


You could allow more Indians with green cards to work in the IS
industry displacing domestic workers. The infrastructure and labor of
the oil producing countries of the Middle East are Indian. Where's
there is money there are Indians. India can handle it's own labor
problems. This is nothing more than a guilt trip like starving
children who want me to give up part of my tea allowance so they can
eat some of the white bread which won't sell because of the Atkins
diet.

Jim



Jim,

Why, you saw right through me. Your astute analysis shows me and the Indians
up. So, when did you develop this profound respect for Indian people? I'm
sure you meant nothing biased in your pronouncements.

Michael



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Old 15-07-2005, 06:16 PM
Maxim Voronov
 
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I posted this link last month. But here it is again:
http://www.transfairusa.org/

Michael's concern is a valid one, indeed. But this is why Transfair
(and I am not affiliated with them in any way) is the indepenedent
not-for-profit agency that certifies products as fair trade. So the
most sure way to ensure that the product you are buying is fair trade
is to buy ones that are *certified* fair trade by transfair.

I am not as familiar with Tea trade as with coffee trade, but in the
coffee realm WTO has been dispensing "wise" advice to countries in
Latin America, Asia and Africa to grow more coffee. This has resulted
in overproduction of coffee, with supply greatly exceeding the demand.
This has allowed the coffee distributors to pay farmers as little as
they wanted, knowing that they had no choice but to settle for any
price they would give them. Interestingly, this did not result in
savings for consumers. Starbucks (before it started to carry *some*
fair trade coffee) used to pay $1.39/lb of coffee, which is above the
minimum of $1.26/lb required by transfair. The problem is that they
were paying this to the middleman, who paid a tiny fraction of this to
the actual growers. So the problem was simply that they did not want
to re-shuffle their procurement system. Fair trade simply insures that
the growers earn a living wage. This is not about luxury, folks! It's
a matter of life and death.

As far as teas, I believe it's a similar situation. And I don't think
it's exclusive to India. The In Pursuit of Tea folks report the dire
conditions in many areas of China, where farmers simply abandon their
farms and move to cities, because they can no longer survive with the
kind of income they are getting from the tea business. But there is
little fair trade tea from China. Rishi has some Yunnan black and
Puergh teas that are certified fair trade. But that's about that.
IPOT also claims to pay the farmers a fair price, but their teas are
not fair trade certified.

Speaking of which, anybody knows of any other retails that carry fair
trade certified Chinese or Taiwanese teas? I'd love to find out of
places where I can get such teas, if possible.

Best,

Maxim

Michael Plant wrote:


Yes, indeed. And so it should again. Question: Can we rely upon the fair
trade dealers to truly support fair working conditions, or is "fair trade,"
at least in some cases, a marketing ploy? I think Ripon has some
interesting insights and observations in this area, and I wish he were here
to share them.

Michael


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Old 15-07-2005, 09:18 PM
TeaDave
 
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Ahhh, the joys of capitalism. If the price is low enough to make
chinese farmers quit producing tea, than prices will rise as the amount
of tea produced drops, then more people will want to grow tea, then
prices fall, the price is low enough to make chinese farmers quit
producing tea, than prices will rise as the amount of tea produced
drops, then more people will want to grow tea, then prices fall, the
price is low enough to make chinese farmers quit producing tea, and so
on and so forth. (in general) I say good luck if you want the world to
be fair for everyone, it's just not going to happen.

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Old 15-07-2005, 09:34 PM
Maxim Voronov
 
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Well, I doubt that the world will be fair for everyone -- ever. That's
hardly the point of fair trade. As consumers, we vote with our
wallets: either for change or for more of the same. If I am offered an
option to support the business of a company that sells fair trade
certified products and is therefore being a socially responsible
capitalist, then I would like to vote for that.

As a professor of business, my sense is that unbridled capitalism is
not nearly as rational or "good" as we are often led to believe. It
needs to be channelled and guided in order to offer the most benefits
to the most people. Otherwise, it just causes destruction for most and
benefits for a select few.

In the ideal world things would be as TeaDave describes. But they are
not.

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Old 16-07-2005, 03:18 AM
crymad
 
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Maxim Voronov wrote:
As far as teas, I believe it's a similar situation. And I
don't think it's exclusive to India. The In Pursuit of Tea
folks report the dire conditions in many areas of China, where
farmers simply abandon their farms and move to cities, because
they can no longer survive with the kind of income they are
getting from the tea business.


There are no tea peasants in Japan. And since I drink mostly
Japanese, I don't have to take my tea with lumps of guilt.

--crymad


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