Talk:Fair trade coffee

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search


History of Fair Trade coffee section is devoted almost exclusively to International Coffee Agreement and doesn’t mention the subject of the article.

There are currently 19 countries with different Fair Trade certification labels.[7]—how related to coffee?

Good information in Popularity, but link to Starbucks doesn’t work and thus its impossible to evaluate. More than one source should be used for this section.

Economic Criticism is good information from good source, could be expanded Same for ethical criticism

Lead is very good, but material there could be expanded in place of misplaced material in History. Rudolph2007 (talk) 22:43, 13 May 2009 (UTC)

May 16

The lead is clear, compact and well sourced. The history section is now clarified in its relevance.

Links about Starbucks show good research and balance of viewpoints.

Both the popularity and the criticism sections provide excellent arguments on both sides--some subtle, but clearly presented--use a creative variety of source material and paraphrase successfully.

The final sentence before references is inappropriate editorializing in this context.

With that exception, this is a model article. It provides a real service to many people who will want to know about this subject.


Rudolph2007 (talk) 20:15, 16 May 2009 (UTC)

I believe that there could be more content on the criticisms of fair trade coffee. While the page provides a link to generalized fair trade criticisms, there could be more information specifically in regards to coffee. It could mention more about how fair trade coffee affects or is related to conventionally grown coffee, as well as alternative methods of measuring ethically grown coffee. I think it could also contain a section discussing the consumption of fair trade coffee, including consumer perceptions of fair trade coffee. Information on production is important but consumption is also a key aspect of coffee.

I was unable to access reference number 5. Reference number 9 also led to a page that was merely a list of more sources, which I do not think is specific enough to be listed as a reference. -- Tb1739 (talk) 03:51, 27 February 2017 (UTC)

McDonalds, Starbucks, independents[edit]

Hi. The section on Popularity gives the wrong impression sorry to say. Do all U.K. McDonalds serve fair trade coffee? In that case it's only a problem of making the article international. McDonalds in the U.S. is still "evaluating" fair trade coffee and sells it only in New York or someplace. -SusanLesch (talk) 18:40, 12 October 2010 (UTC)


I find that this section really only criticises the ethics of large corporations (who happen to be using the fair trade banner) and is not about fair trade itself. If it is trying to draw a link to some sort of weak regulation/certification that is potentially allowing or encouraging the unethical operations of large corporations, there needs to be more references. Not sure what tag to add to the section, I'd almost just take it out completely because it doesn't contain any good information at all in its current state. Fishtron (talk) 01:34, 1 December 2010 (UTC) Try reading the papers cited. You will find you are quite wrong.AidWorker (talk) 12:42, 9 October 2012 (UTC)

Peer Review[edit]

Thought the edits made to the article really helped it out. The first paragraph was a good introduction to the topic and overall article. One thing, at the beginning of the section on "Beginning of Fair Trade" the "the" can be taken out before Brazil. It would also be interesting to have more information on the disputes of Fair Trade and the ethical issues behind some of the not Fair Trade coffee growers but just a suggestion. Overall good edits. Melizabethp (talk) 22:39, 20 March 2012 (UTC)


I tried to review this. Epbishop (talk) 19:52, 27 March 2012 (UTC)

Neutral point-of-view concerns[edit]

  • This source, a blog used several times in the current version of the article as an inline citation does not appear to be a reliable source: [1]. However, the aforementioned link includes a link to "Ethical objections to Fairtrade." published by the Journal of Business Ethics, which is a reliable source. The sources in the article need to be corrected to citations from the actual article published by Journal of Business Ethics.
It also appears that the Criticism section may contain some original research. Northamerica1000(talk) 14:56, 25 May 2012 (UTC)

It is common, usual even, to cite the web page to which a paper is linked, on University web sites etc. Importantly, the paper can then be accessed free of charge, while a link to the academic publisher means the interested reader would have to pay $30 for access. It also makes things easier to find,and it is possible to check the author's credentials. And in this case the page links to several published papers on Fairtrade in Prospect, Economic Affairs, Business Ethics. It is not in any sense a blog.

I had been at pains not to put a large number of references to non-controversial statements, but, at your request, I have put in a few dozen more.

The entry cannot be considered “point of view” since the points have been made repeatedly by a lot of people over a decade, and no attempt has been made to challenge them, except one paper by Hayes[1] which is a rigorous attempt to counter one bit of the criticism (I make no judgements on who is right on this issue.)

This 'point of view' tag is particularly worrying in view of the rewriting of the entry to produce a string of false and unsupported statements, all supporting Fair Trade, which would have been readily identified as false from the entry that was there already. When so many people have spent years researching this, and there is a large research literature, it is not acceptable to base a long entry on half an hour’s search of the internet identifying a dozen web sites. A blog is not a source. The web site of a firm or organization is written by public relations staff paid to influence the public, which they do by suppressing information, presenting selected information to give a false impression and sometimes outright lies, so it is standard practice to check the statements with other sources: this would have avoided some of the false statements.

I have removed false and misleading statements and unsupported contentious statements. I have also removed the section on the International Coffee Agreement, not because it is unorthodox, but, as has been mentioned above, it is entirely irrelevant to Fair Trade coffee today. This entry should be confined to verifiable statements on how the system works today.

Care should be taken before ‘correcting’ English. If one does not understand standard expressions like ‘producer cooperative’ and ‘licencing the use of a brand name’ (which is extraordinary for someone editing an entry on Fair Trade) one should look them up, rather than changing the sentence into garbled English.


  1. ^ Hayes, Mark (2008). "Fighting the Tide: Alternative trade organizations in the era of global free trade - A comment". World Developmen. 36 (12): 2953–2961.


Considering combing the beginnings section into the History paragraph (thus removing the beginnings section all together). It seems to be redundant and could easily be placed there. Thoughts? DaltonCastle (talk) 08:12, 3 August 2012 (UTC)

11:28, 25 June 2012 (UTC)

Rewriting the page[edit]

The page has had a lot of changes over the last few months: there are a string of false statements and of misunderstandings. The changes quote and misquote blogs, commercial websites and newspaper articles. The research for the changes appears to have been a 20 minute Google search. Previous statements based on years of work by scholars have been removed or ignored – apparently because they did not square with how someone imagined Fair trade ought to work. There is bias. A POV label has been put on the only section that was based on research – years of research by dozens of people. I am removing false and unverifiable statements and inserting statements based on evidence produced by a wide range of scholars.

It would be helpful if someone could put in verifiable information on how other Fair Trade organizations work. The ones I know about have systems similar to Fairtrade, with clearer objectives, but there is virtually nothing about them in the research literature.

And it would be helpful if this information could be properly researched and verifiable. 16:46, 10 October 2012 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by AidWorker (talkcontribs)

Deleting the page[edit]

People working for the Third World are acutely aware that sloppy work and incorrect evidence kill people. Absolute rigour is required. Fair trade is about money that people are giving to help people in the Third World and requires absolute rigour.

The fair trade coffee page was full of false statements, paragraph after paragraph after paragraph, all pushing one POV. I removed some false statements – contradicting what Fairtrade itself claims as well as what the many researchers working in the field have found. I also removed wild claims with no source. This is Wikipedia policy. I inserted statements based on years of research by many people, fully referenced.

An attempt was then made to get this page deleted to suppress these facts, on the grounds that they do not support someone’s personal beliefs about Fairtrade. There is an ever growing amount of criticism of Fairtrade in the literature. Fairtrade and its supporters deal with it by

1. Ignoring it, to avoid giving it publicity.

2. Drowning it out with their own advertising and PR: I note the large number of Fair trade and Fairtrade Wikipedia pages, which are nothing but advertising. I certainly do not have the time to go through them all cutting out the false statements which are numerous.

3. Hiding it, putting both the description of how it works (according to Fairtrade and researchers) and the criticisms right at the end of the page after a lot of turgid discussions of the history of fair trade, in the hope that people will have stopped reading the article before they come to it.

4. Suppressing it, as with the proposal that the fair trade coffee page and the fair trade debate pages should be deleted.

5. Attacking the researchers who identify problems, as with the lawsuit against Christian Jacquieu (he won).

I have found only one serious attempt to challenge any of these criticisms. It follows that any list of the criticisms made may appear to someone not acquainted with the subject to be one sided – but there is no other side to report.

The marketing strategy for fair trade is to provide the minimum of hard information and to invite customers to imagine what the benefits might be. And most of what is on the fair trade and Fairtrade web pages is precisely this fantasy. Again, this means that any page based on verifiable evidence will exclude this fantasy. Again there is no other side to report.

If the factual inaccuracies are removed, the properly researched information becomes more prominent. The answer is not to remove the properly researched information, but to put in researched information on other aspects that you feel should be covered. The research is not quick and easy. For example the main pages of fair trade web sites are written by advertising copy writers who do not know how the organization is really run and do not care, and who do not understand the terminology: it takes some time to get through to pages written by the people who do the work. And then it is necessary for the researcher to get independent verification rather than rely on what is inevitably a commercial web site – fair trade is enormously profitable for retailers and cafes in the rich world.

It is deeply disturbing that someone should have put a POV label on the one section that is supported by evidence, and not on that which is fantasy supporting a commercial brand.

It is deeply disturbing that someone should have restored content that was removed as being false and not verifiable. False information was included even when the evidence to prove it wrong was already on the page. Verifiable information was removed when it clashed with non-verifiable information. AidWorker (talk) 08:53, 12 October 2012 (UTC)


Someone keeps deleting what is there and replacing it with their own input. They make three major errors of fact in the first sentence and then continue to produce error after error. There is no attempt at producing verifiable evidence – the only sources cited are advertisements, blogs and journalism, usually unpublished, evidently found in a half hour search of the internet. The errors are contradicted by what was already on the page, which was supported by citations over a hundred person years of research by a many independent researchers, published in a range of academic journals, as well as by the formal standards of the Fairtrade Labelling Organization. The vandal gets over this contradiction by deleting the sections with verifiable evidence or just garbling them to make them incomprehensible.

These problems have been pointed out repeatedly but the vandalism continues.

I emphasize that this is not an argument between people accessing different research, or analysing it differently, nor is an argument between researchers.

This is not a minor academic spat. We are dealing with farmers in the Third World who live in absolute poverty: any decisions based on incorrect facts will certainly result in increased death and destitution. AidWorker (talk) 10:09, 21 January 2013 (UTC)

NPOV? Far from it![edit]

This article is significantly biased and in its current form merits deletion. It's based on outdated and obsolete information and contains significant conjecture. If I were someone reading about Fairtrade coffee for the first time with this article forming the basis of my knowledge, I would end up significantly misinformed. This is a terrible article in its current form.

I will do what I can to update, rewrite content and excise irrelevant parts, but others also need to take to this article with chisels and hammers to correct this article to the standard it should be at. BE BOLD! Chris W. (talk) 14:06, 26 February 2013 (UTC)

Just a note, bad articles needn't be deleted if it is possible to make them into good articles. Zell Faze (talk) 22:41, 4 September 2014 (UTC)

tagging NPOV[edit]

I'm a very casual user. I looked up this page during a conversation with friends, just looking for a few basic facts since none of us knew much about fair-trade coffee, and was really surprised at the level of bias here. Most of the language (especially the bloated section 10, which takes up as much space on the table of contents as the rest of the article combined, and is redundant to the 'Fair Trade debate' article I just found) read like a biased blog article. Looking at the history log and the above discussions, it's been the constant subject of vandalism. I'm suggesting this page be cleaned up by someone who understands the nuances of NPOV, and then it probably needs to be locked. FekketCantenel (talk) 02:36, 11 December 2013 (UTC)

(Whoops, accidentally tagged this page instead of the article, DERP FekketCantenel (talk) 02:37, 11 December 2013 (UTC))

I have removed POV tag from this article as I have made a number of edits to remove POV from this article. CamV8 (talk) 02:40, 7 November 2014 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

Hello fellow Wikipedians,

I have just modified 3 external links on Fair trade coffee. Please take a moment to review my edit. If you have any questions, or need the bot to ignore the links, or the page altogether, please visit this simple FaQ for additional information. I made the following changes:

When you have finished reviewing my changes, you may follow the instructions on the template below to fix any issues with the URLs.

As of February 2018, "External links modified" talk page sections are no longer generated or monitored by InternetArchiveBot. No special action is required regarding these talk page notices, other than regular verification using the archive tool instructions below. Editors have permission to delete the "External links modified" sections if they want, but see the RfC before doing mass systematic removals. This message is updated dynamically through the template {{sourcecheck}} (last update: 15 July 2018).

  • If you have discovered URLs which were erroneously considered dead by the bot, you can report them with this tool.
  • If you found an error with any archives or the URLs themselves, you can fix them with this tool.

Cheers.—InternetArchiveBot (Report bug) 15:58, 27 September 2017 (UTC)


My experience is that Fairtrade-labeled coffee always tastes worse than the best non-Fairtrade coffee. Obviously that is WP:OR, but it leads me to stay away from Fairtrade stuff. None of the Fairtrade-related articles here mentions this, so perhaps my experience is unusual. I wonder if these articles have been blighted by political correctness?

Perhaps it is because producers of premium stuff (I am using the term 'producers' in the broadest sense) gain no benefit from Fairtrade minimum pricing?

MrDemeanour (talk) 10:29, 20 February 2019 (UTC)