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i want fair trade coffee at locke st. bakery


DevO
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Twice now I have mentioned to the owner of the Locke St. Bakery that there should be a fair trade coffee available to the cafe's more socially-inclined customers. The first reply he gave me was that he didn't know where to get fair trade coffee; it isn't easily available. The second time, his reply was "we always pay fair market prices for our coffee" - which in other words means that they do not buy fair trade coffee, as it costs slightly more than the average non-fair trade coffee.

The Locke St. Bakery gets its coffee from the company Seattle's Best.. Seattle's Best HAS a fair trade brew for sale, easily at the disposal of Locke St. Bakery. Click on the link below for proof:

http://www.seattlesbest.com/site/products/productDetail.asp?productID=281

Few of us realize that agriculture workers in the coffee industry often toil in what can be described as "sweatshops in the fields." Many small coffee farmers receive prices for their coffee that are less than the costs of production, forcing them into a cycle of poverty and debt.

Small scale coffee farmers, who do not produce enough to export directly, are forced to sell their crop at very low prices to middlemen, known as coyotes. In return for their services, these coyotes command almost absolute control over the farmers. Because farmers live at subsistence levels, they rarely have enough money to support themselves between harvests. Governments and banks are reluctant to grant loans to them. So, farmers have to depend on coyotes to lend them money at high interest rates. This augments their indebtedness and traps them in a continuous cycle of poverty. Unions and cooperatives are violently repressed because thwy pose a threat to those who gain from the exploitation of farmers and labourers.

Fair Trade is a viable solution to this crisis, assuring consumers that the coffee we drink was purchased under fair conditions. To become Fair Trade certified, an importer must meet stringent international criteria; paying a minimum price per pound of $1.26, providing much needed credit to farmers, and providing technical assistance such as help transitioning to organic farming. Fair Trade for coffee farmers means community development, health, education, and environmental stewardship.

So the next time you are at Locke St. Bakery, please mention to the owner and/or the employees that you would appreciate the option of buying a fair trade coffee to go with your bagel.

If you feel so inclined, call up Locke St. Bakery at 905-308-8245 and let them know how you feel.

KevO

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you should try again, Kev. You probably talked to Peter or Lou. Maybe they were having a bad day or something, I think they're good guys. They've been really good and decent to my girlfriend Laurie, who has worked there on and off since we moved to the neighborhood a few years back.

Contact me if you want to ask Laurie about this, I'll pass along the contact info.

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Good Work KevO. I work next to TransFair (the licensing board) so if you want I'll pick up some info and send it to you. Or you can check out Oxfam's Make Trade Fair initiative, which is full of information on the subject.

Also, "Fair Market Price" is oxymoronic when you consider that, as of right now, green coffee is retails for about 60 cents a pound on the NY Futures Market. Hmm..how does that become a 5 dollar latte, and does any of that 4.50 make it back to Ecuador, Peru, Mexico, Colombia or elsewhere?

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I'm sure they are decent fellows - I was just irked by his lack of interest in selling fair trade coffee. My friend Tiff used to work there and she said it was a good place to work. Thank Hess, but unfortunately I won't be making this into much of a campaign, as I'm leaving town in less than 3 weeks. I'm just hoping some other people will mention it to them and maybe get them to reconsider. I haven't been to the Bad Dog yet, thanks KC!

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we could all bombard the message board with fair trade messages if you want, that might get attention. if you get even just ten people on there saying the same thing they might get the hint. since i don't even know where this cafe is i am leaving the call up to you. i have to admit though, i have had thoughts about how to organize a proper campaign to get tim horton's to go fair trade. they are the biggest coffee retailer in canada and they do make a great cup of coffee. in fact i am drinking one right now, mind you it is the one i picked up last night on the way home from chatham and fell asleep before drinking.

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thanks for the support bokonon, but i'm not going for an all-out campaign here, it was more of a spur of the moment rant that I thought i'd post around a little bit in hopes that a few others around hamilton might mention something the next time they were at the cafe. ... i straightened things out on that lockestreet.com message board, the message is back up!

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hey bouche, yup it is a big issue in large part of the world. here are some quick facts that i've just cut & pasted for you:

Coffee with a conscience

Second only to oil, coffee is the world's most actively traded commodity. Yet, alomst 80% of coffee comes from Latin America, and all 26 of the world's main coffee producing nations are developing countries. In the US, over 70% of the coffee industry is owned by only 3 multinational corporations: General Foods (34.8% Maxwell House, Sanka, and Yuban), Proctor and Gamble (31.3% Folgers), and Nestle (13.5% Hill Bros, Nescafe and Tasters Choice).

Did you know?

- A cup of coffee costs only 7 cents to make.

- Coffee farmers and labourers earn less than 1 dollar a day.

- Coffee represents 18% of all drinks consumed in North America, making it second to tap water.

- Coffee is the third most sprayed crop after cotton and tobacco.

- More than 70% of the world's coffee is sprayed with synthetic chemicals such as Malathlon and DDT, long banned in Canada.

- Whole families, including children, work 12-14 hours a day under harsh conditions on coffee plantations for pay that wouldn't even buy a cup of coffee in Canada.

Coffee and the environment

Prior to the 1970's, the cultivation of coffee was less destructive to the environment than chemically-dependent crops such as bananas and sugar. The coffee plant's need for shade enabled it to cohabit land with other plants and crops. However, the introduction of high-yield hybrids developed by US scientists changed the way coffee was grown:

1. Because the new varieties are better suited to large-scale production, farmers resort to mono-cropping which leads to soil erosion and land exhaustion.

2. The hybrids need massive amounts of fertilizers and chemical pesticides to compensate for their lack of resistance against pests and diseases. This not only pollutes the water and soil, but also results in infertile and depleted land. Moreover, the use of pesticides poisons the peasant farmers who work on it.

Coffee and the people

Small scale coffee farmers, who do not produce enough to export directly, are forced to sell their crop at very low prices to middlemen, known as coyotes. In return for their services, these coyotes command almost absolute control over the farmers. Because farmers live at subsistence levels, they rarely have enough money to support themselves between harvests. Governments and banks are reluctant to grant loans to them. So, farmers have to depend on coyotes to lend them money at high interest rates. This augments their indebtedness and traps them in a continuous cycle of poverty. Unions and cooperatives are violently repressed because thwy pose a threat to those who gain from the exploitation of farmers and labourers.

CLICK HERE to learn more.

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Here's a really good piece I just found on coffee on CBC Marketplace: CLICK HERE TO SEE!!

Yeah Pais, I actually checked that place out yesterday and I was quite impressed! Its about time Hamilton had a nice chill little cafe like that. The food looked pretty good too! I'm pretty impressed with what they've done with Locke St. in general. I used to go to St. Joe's when I was a kid and there wasn't much going on in the area back then.

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...yeah, bad dog is way better :)

I think the website for fairtrade in canada is www.transfair.ca

also check out ten thousand villages, they have lots of good stuff from around the world that is fair trade...

U can also get fair trade chocolate and sugar!

another benefit of fair trade is that the workers can start their own businesses/plantaitions or whatever..

woohoo fair trade

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  • 2 weeks later...

I just got this email from my friend Tiff, who works at Locke St. Bakery:

"kev you will be happy to know that my boss invested in free trade coffee today. its organic and states free trade coffee. there is also a posting up that we received from seattle's best about the information regarding the coffee and it talks about free trade."

booya! :)

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