Watch out for frauds!
Organic Consumers Association
Despite over five years of grassroots pressure, Starbucks continues to serve milk from cows that are injected with genetically engineered recombinant bovine growth hormone, also known as rBGH or rBST. Virtually every industrial country, except for the United States, has banned the sale of rBGH milk. Milk produced from cows injected with rBGH poses serious dangers to human health and the general welfare to dairy cows. Similarly, while Starbucks has slowly bought more certified Fair Trade coffee, it represents only a very small percentage of their total coffee (about 3.7%). Starbucks rarely offers certified Fair Trade coffee as their coffee of the day, nor has it followed its own policy of brewing Fair Trade coffee, on demand.
Spent all your dough on, you know, food and stuff? Never fear! Levi Strauss is planning two follow-up lines: a $65 to $80 version will hit department stores in early 2007, and a $40 to $60 line will roll out next fall. These plain-jane jeans will, of course, be made with impure cotton and manufactured "all over the world," according to a Levi's spokesperson.
My personal policy: if you're gonna buy organic/Fair Trade, only do so from 100% organic/FT companies. If you can't afford the real deal or if you can't be bothered going to the organic/FT shop in town instead of the supermarket (mall for our american friends), then don't bovver at all! It's companies like Star$$$, Levis or Malongo (for our froggy pals) that give FT/organic a bad name, because they are the most visible faces and yet everybody knows they are crooks&liars (even if 'everybody' still buys their products).
One more thing, and you'll have to forgive my 'holier than thou' attitude: organic/FT is more expensive than mainstream produce. That's for a very logical reason: it's fair (though organic does not necessarily mean Fair Trade, if you buy your organic veg locally, you'll probably be paying the farmer a fair price). I have no doubt there are people who honestly can't afford fair prices (the fight for fair wages is thus part of the fight for fair trade, environementally conscious living etc.). There are others who believe they can't afford fair prices, yet somehow can afford countless pairs of jeans, shoes, cd's, nights out on the town (how much is a pint these days?), concerts...
If I have posted this here, it is because our war on terror (ie. not Georgie boy's) is a long term one. It involves us changing our lifestyles so as not to be dependent on the suffering of others.