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Cafes with fairtrade coffee

By Harmony 17 September 2010 30

I’ve committed to drinking only fairtrade coffee, so I need to know which cafes in Canberra and surrounds are fairtrade certified. Two places I know:

    Chocolate Olive
    Colbee Court, Phillip, 8am-5pm Mon to Fri, 8am-2pm Sat
    Coffee is certified organic and certified fairtrade. Great range of salads – good vegetarian/vegan options, also lots of gluten free. Excellent prices and friendly service.

    Cafe Ink
    Woden Library, opens 7am Mon to Fri (I’m not sure about weekends)
    Cafe Ink’s main purpose is to provide disadvantaged people with a supportive environment to increase their social and economic participation through paid employment. The vibe is laid-back and friendly. Serves fairtrade coffee and has a range of other fairtrade products, organic juices and simple fresh local food. (Great raisin toast – fruit bread supplied by Hughes Bakery.) Grab the paper or a book from the library and sit back and chill for awhile.

Who serves decent Fairtrade coffee in Civic and elsewhere in Canberra?


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Cafes with fairtrade coffee
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Jethro 5:30 pm 20 Sep 10

sepi said :

How can buying fairtrade possibly be the wrong thing to do.
If everyone did it, conditions would improve.

You have to start somewhere – coffee is as good a place to start as any.
Boycotting unethical products does work. Nestle have finally stopped using palm oil, and thus contributing to the extinction of orangutans), due to publicity and boycotts.
Are we allowed to feel good about that, or is there some cynical reason not to?

Vegatables – most people who are worried about ethics or health buy local and / or organic, so no sweatshops involved.

Textiles unfortunately are unavailable as ethical products, except for the very very well off.
(There is a great song about this – ‘whose blood on your shirt’)

You could always buy second hand clothes, as you are then not directly contributing to the production and consumption of new clothes.

JC 3:38 pm 20 Sep 10

BimboGeek said :

My head hurts. I could almost imagine our economics experts had already made up their minds before analysing the arguments.

Fairtrade is inefficient because it supports small business?

Fairtrade is unfair because some countries have import tariffs?

How about this: Fairtrade is the free market’s way of compensating for the fact that too many coffee growers had only a single monopolist supplier to sell their beans to. Consumers didn’t like the stench of death on their latte macchiato so a new competitor arose.

Don’t forget to buy organic and shade grown for maxtreme feelgood buzz.

The biggest problem with fairtrade is it is not sustainable and at the end of the day it is a brand that is designed to enable westerners to consume without guilt. The basic principle is good, but there are other models, such as Starbucks CAFE that produced the same end result but in a more sustainable and fairer manner.

As for tariffs I believe it was me that brought them up, but don’t recall saying fairtrade was unfair because of that. I was merely pointing out that reducing tariffs and stopping governments protecting industry would be the ultimate way for the market to trade in a fair manner. That I assume is what we want.

trix 11:13 am 20 Sep 10

Seconded, what BimboGeek sez.

I mean, seriously, we can’t solve all the economic woes of the world, but throwing up our hands and doing nothing at all is pathetic in the extreme.

Having said that, I’m not that excited about much of the coffee that is labelled FairTrade. Ethically-sourced single estate coffees that are roasted and/or blended locally work for me. I think Wagonga coffee is a good example of that, although they also have plenty of official FairTrade and Rainforest Alliance-branded coffees. Also, good quality coffees will have been purchased at a better price than FairTrade can offer much of the time. FairTrade is a decent replacement for the likes of Nescafe – and the quality is better – but they are not what I’d call a premium brand. Although that may suit home coffee drinking just fine.

You can buy Wagonga at the Epic or Bus Depot markets, and the coffee stall in the upstairs part of the Bus Depot market serves serves a decent cuppa.

For fairly crappy FairTrade, CoffeeGuru does some as well.

Kramer 11:00 am 20 Sep 10

I have become a huge fan of the little coffee van at Stromlo. The guy uses Australian organic coffee, so I’m guessing it ticks all the right boxes for you socially concious drinkers. Anyway coffee and mountain biking is excellent at the moment, although both a bit wet…

BimboGeek 8:59 am 20 Sep 10

My head hurts. I could almost imagine our economics experts had already made up their minds before analysing the arguments.

Fairtrade is inefficient because it supports small business?

Fairtrade is unfair because some countries have import tariffs?

How about this: Fairtrade is the free market’s way of compensating for the fact that too many coffee growers had only a single monopolist supplier to sell their beans to. Consumers didn’t like the stench of death on their latte macchiato so a new competitor arose.

Don’t forget to buy organic and shade grown for maxtreme feelgood buzz.

JC 11:44 pm 19 Sep 10

sepi said :

Well at the price of fairtrade stuff, I am consuming less, so it is working. It also makes me think about the value of things, and where they come from before I grab them in the supermarket.

And I still believe that if all consumers wanted fairtrade coffee, the market would find a way to provide it.

That’s quite laughable. If you want to know the true value of something then next time I visit my outlaws in the rice fields of Thailand come and join me. You may be surprised!

As for getting a fair price to the grower then fairtrade (as it stands) is not the way to go, what is needed is full and transparent free trade. Get rid of tarrif protection and production subsidies.

Using my father-in-laws rice farm as an example, for him to export to the US the price of his rice is artificially increased by US import tariffs that then go to subsidise the highly inefficient, but large US rice growing industry. End result is consumer pays more, Thai farmer gets screwed and US farmer’s bank account gets bigger. Do it properly Thai farmer gets a fairer price for their crop, consumer pays a lower and fairer price and the inefficient US rice industry goes out of business and concentrates on other crops better suited to their country.

Many other industries are similarly effected. Current fairtrade principles do nothing but to stroke the ego of the western consumer into thinking they are doing something, sepi’s attitude to it all is a perfect case in point.

sepi 9:43 pm 19 Sep 10

Well at the price of fairtrade stuff, I am consuming less, so it is working. It also makes me think about the value of things, and where they come from before I grab them in the supermarket.

And I still believe that if all consumers wanted fairtrade coffee, the market would find a way to provide it.

JC 5:34 pm 19 Sep 10

sepi said :

If everyone bought fairtrade coffee, then they would actually have to hire more workers (at proper pay and conditions), so more people would be employed with better jobs.

A step in the right direction is always worth taking, even if there are reasons it may not work. it has more chance of working than doing what we have always done, which we already know doesn’t work, and if this doesn’t work, we can move on and try something else.

That is not what fairtrade is all about, in fact hiring more workers and getting bigger goes against what it is about. As I said above if everyone brought fairtrade there would not be enough of it to go around, the model is not sustainable in large quantities, well large enough to provide for the world.

All fairtrade is at the end of the day is a way of making the west feel guilty about our over consumption of world commodities. The best thing we can do is not buy fairtrade, but reduce our consumption rates.

johnnycash 1:40 pm 19 Sep 10

The only problem with Satis is that their coffee is average at best. Food is great, people running the place are friendly but after quite a few tries I’ve given up on getting a good coffee there. Have a smoothie.

Holden Caulfield 11:13 pm 18 Sep 10

astrojax said :

…i also think satis, at downer shops, also has fair trade; and excellent breakfasts…

Satis is at Watson Shops. It’s next to Downer, so an easy mistake to make I guess.

sepi 8:15 pm 18 Sep 10

If everyone bought fairtrade coffee, then they would actually have to hire more workers (at proper pay and conditions), so more people would be employed with better jobs.

A step in the right direction is always worth taking, even if there are reasons it may not work. it has more chance of working than doing what we have always done, which we already know doesn’t work, and if this doesn’t work, we can move on and try something else.

Woody Mann-Caruso 7:20 pm 18 Sep 10

Its a market intervention that has the effect of setting an artificial price floor above market value, having the effect of boosting supply without boosting demand.

Moved on from first year law to first year microeconomics, eh Skid?

JC 6:18 pm 18 Sep 10

sepi said :

How can buying fairtrade possibly be the wrong thing to do.
If everyone did it, conditions would improve.

Because fairtrade coffee in particular is not sustainable just like organic food production. To put it simply there is simply not enough supply to provide the world with fairtrade. Now before anyone jumps on me, fairtrade, contrary to popular belief is more than paying a fair price for goods, it is actually a complete production methodology and system, one principle of which is to exclude medium and large suppliers.

Interestingly Starbucks had their own version of fairtrade, long before might I add, called C.A.F.E (coffee and farmers equity), which had the same underlying principle (which is a good thing), but was aimed at the medium to larger growers. Certainly more sustainable than fairtrade.

sepi 5:05 pm 18 Sep 10

There are small local producers – these are not the same people who grow non-organic vegies.
And then there are Australian grown vegies, so at least you know the workers aren’t really suffering, and also that they aren’t going to the toilet in the vegie fields as per Chinese workers – ewwww.

Skidbladnir 4:58 pm 18 Sep 10

sepi said :

How can buying fairtrade possibly be the wrong thing to do.

In the short term, it seems a good idea only if you don’t think about it, or have no care about a functioning economy.
(Nobody really notices when the economy works efficiently, but when it doesn’t, people starve.)

Its a market intervention that has the effect of setting an artificial price floor above market value, having the effect of boosting supply without boosting demand.
So while the rest of the market self-regulates growth or decline cycles, fairtrade is sheltered until a sufficiently powerful ‘correction’ event occurs.

sepi said :

If everyone did it, conditions would improve.

But thats kind of the point, from the consumer side, too.
Not everyone does it, so it has at least a minimal effect.
From the retail side, if the customers expect fair trade coffee to represent the cream of the market, they’ll go wherever that label is shown, so move up a notch when it comes to potential competition factors.
If everyone did it, there would be no point, because its no longer a point of differentiation.

sepi said :

You have to start somewhere – coffee is as good a place to start as any.

Coffee is a really shit place to start. Its one of the largest commodities markets, its globalised, and there are already a lot of different market segments and internal trends competing against and influencing each other, each experiencing their own cycles but not at the same time..
With that much noise as background, what makes you think fair trade is so easy to be certain about?
Its a labour-cost intensive niche, and if it has its way, all those formerly employed by non-FT Producers are now a) unemployed and b) too expensive to hire.

Inappropriate 3:17 pm 18 Sep 10

sepi said :

Vegatables – most people who are worried about ethics or health buy local and / or organic, so no sweatshops involved.

Organic food is no more ethical or healthier than efficiently grown vegies. They’re all grown by the same people.

sepi 2:08 pm 18 Sep 10

How can buying fairtrade possibly be the wrong thing to do.
If everyone did it, conditions would improve.

You have to start somewhere – coffee is as good a place to start as any.
Boycotting unethical products does work. Nestle have finally stopped using palm oil, and thus contributing to the extinction of orangutans), due to publicity and boycotts.
Are we allowed to feel good about that, or is there some cynical reason not to?

Vegatables – most people who are worried about ethics or health buy local and / or organic, so no sweatshops involved.

Textiles unfortunately are unavailable as ethical products, except for the very very well off.
(There is a great song about this – ‘whose blood on your shirt’)

Deref 12:28 pm 18 Sep 10

Jethro said :

The number one thing loved by white people.

LOL

georgesgenitals 11:18 am 18 Sep 10

Waiting For Godot said :

georgesgenitals said :

I’m currently on the opposite side of the planet to Canberra, and came across something very interesting in a shop the other day: fair trade ivory!

How about a fairtrade fur coat?

Didn’t see one, although that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. There’s no fur being worn where I am, though, it’s way too hot.

Waiting For Godot 11:07 am 18 Sep 10

georgesgenitals said :

I’m currently on the opposite side of the planet to Canberra, and came across something very interesting in a shop the other day: fair trade ivory!

How about a fairtrade fur coat?

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