Visualizing Fair Trade Coffee
Posted on June 9, 2012 by Mike
“Together, these graphics represent an effort to capture the level of involvement by large corporate firms in the US and global fair trade coffee markets. Because Fair Trade International and Fair Trade USA do not divulge data on the volumes of fair trade certified products purchased by individual companies—deeming the information a trade secret—basic figures on companies’ participation are challenging to find. This lack of transparency, critics charge, allows companies to engage in “fair-washing”—that is, to use low levels of engagement with fair trade to persuade consumers that they are socially responsible, and/or to distract attention from other socially or environmentally harmful practices. It also blurs the distinction between 100% fair trade companies (many of which have long histories of involvement with producer communities and organizations) and those firms participating in fair trade at merely token levels.”
More statistics and graphics on this subject are available via Philip H. Howard, Michigan State University.