And it got me thinking; do we care about this?
I remember hearing this one speaker talk about how shareholders reacted to the news that a particular company would donate funds to victims of the tsunami in Asia. Great, a very socially responsible thing to do. However, the reaction was less than favorable.
How many of those who reacted that were less than impressed knew that there maybe a chance that a portion of their dividends could end up being doled out as aid dollars would also choose to buy fair trade coffee from oligopolistic fast food chains who use their buying power to bully 3rd world nations into changing their corporate strategy by forcing them not to use slave labour, and then hold them to a fixed price unit of product? (I am a big fan of not using slave labour, I will accept a price rise in a particular good, as long as you can show me that it's going to make a real difference to that regions economy or standard of education and or living.)
In the Hip Hop ages it has now come to a point more of bling than substance. "I went to Jacob with 25 thou, you went with 2500 WOW"
I'm fan of 'Ye, but how many others will just think, 'Man I gotta get me to the best jeweler from Antwerp or Gent & cop the biggest bit of ice I can fit on a ring' etc. The "Jacob's" and the like can never honestly say they don't deal in conflict diamonds. If they do, strap 'em to a polygraph. Every shop in the world has conflict diamonds. It's the trade they deal in. Accept it, or don't buy diamonds!
I digress though...
The point I'm trying to make is consumers are quick to buy a good something with a free trade sticker on it or purchase a carbon offset this or that, but few of us take time to find out what if any help will this be of to anyone but the companies bottom line. I'm sad to say free trade or fair trade are just marketing buzz words used to manipulate us into buying a little piece good will or consciousness for our souls...