Letters to the editor March 7

Letters to the editor March 7

Fair trade coffee touted

Last year, in the JFilm Festival’s Short Film [lineup], there was a movie about fair trade coffee. There seems to be various definitions for “fair trade.” My general understanding of the concept is that growers can receive a greater share of the price, i.e. the ultimate price will be higher because of this.

The first time I looked for fair trade coffee was at the East End Food Co-op. My preference is for decaf, which is more expensive regardless. In the past, I have purchased a three-pound can of Kirkland at COSTCO and it ran about $18 per can, or $6 per pound. The price at the co-op was about $13 per pound. Why should I pay more than double the COSTCO price?

What follows is my rationalization.

Over the course of a year, I will probably buy a pound of coffee per month, and if I buy only fair trade coffee, the cost will be an additional $84. Assuming this truly works better for the grower, and then what I would have done would be good. So look at it like this: If every other month a friend would ask for a donation to a charity he or she is involved with, I would surely write a check for at least $10 or $20. So what I think when I buy fair trade coffee is that I am in some way making a contribution to a farmer who in turn will be better off.

Dan Askin

Squirrel Hill