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Monday, March 26, 2012

Series of postings on 3BL Media

Yours truly is officially a published author! I did an in depth study this fall on the controversy going on in the fair trade world. 3BL Media offered to publish my work! It will be a series of blog postings over the next few weeks. Here's the link to posting #1:

http://www.justmeans.com/FLO-Fair-Trade-USA-Starbucks-An-Investigation/52904.html

On a different note, I want to give a major shout out to my dear friend, Grace who recently became the mother of baby Sophia. Grace has a strong commitment to living simply and justly and I am inspired by her motivation to do this as she raises her family. Many Congratulations to you Grace! I can't wait to meet Sophia!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Confusing Changes to FT USA Label

There are so many ugly men in the NBA. Has anyone else noticed this? (My husband wonders why my favorite team is the Miami Heat. Two reasons: Dwayne Wade and King James.) I was floored when my friend Ben and I had this conversation:
Me: "I love the Heat. James and Wade. They are soo fine. I mean, I love their balling skills"
Ben: "Yeah, they are pretty hot men. But Chris Bosh is ugly." (note: Ben is straight and married to a hottie himself)
Me: "Oh my gosh. He totally looks like some kind of dinosaur. "
                                                                Ben interjects:
                                                                 "A velociraptor!"
                                                          We laughed uncontrollably.
It's true. Steve Nash from the Arizona Suns. Good skills. But is he Amish? Oh and Lord have mercy on Paul Gasol. The foreign thing is the only thing hot about him and it don't do nothing for him. That's a damn shame. And let's be real: The new all-star, Jeremy Lin, on the Knicks, he's got ivy league nerd/MIT written all over him. (yes, I know he went to Harvard. But he looks like the typical dorky MIT kid.) That buzz cut needs to GO. I mean, I know these men have an easy time getting the ladies.(and, oh yeah, that's it's their skills that matter more)  But they could really use some help from Stacy and Clinton: what not to look like to be a hot NBA player. Step one: avoid making faces which resemble dinosaurs and make it too easy for bloggers to make fun of you.


The Good News:
The rest of this blog will not be about NBA players.

The Bad and the Good:
Most of you have heard about the controversy between Fair Trade USA and the Fair Trade Labeling Organization. (If not, read through some of my former postings). Fair Trade left FLO in Dec. 2011 and created their own standards. Much lower standards. But because they were dissed so much by almost everyone, they changed some of their standards. And they created an entirely new label to stand for those standards. Why is this bad? CONFUSION. How the hell is the consumer supposed to know which label stands for what? Here's the short version of this label: This label stands for products containing 100% fair trade ingredients. Fair Trade USA will still use the black and white label for a period of time. Will this be confusing?
YES. Do they think so? Of course not. Their words:
"We don't believe so because first and foremost, consumers are looking for the words "fair trade certified." While both marks may share the same space for awhile, we actually believe consumers will appreciate the simplicity of the new mark and be drawn to it. It pops more on shelf and the words Fair Trade Certified are front and center.  Read here for more info

Read between the lines folks. MARKETING. Click on that link above and read their reasoning for the new label. Why are they changing it? Their words:
So that the label pops more. Raising visibility in retail stores. Consumer awareness.

Are they still allowing big purchasers like Sbux and Green Mountain to be involved? Yes. Are their standards still low as hell? YES.
They will also have this label for products which can have only 20% fair trade ingredients.  That's 3 different labels. PURE CONFUSION. To me, we are back to square one with them. They are still marketing products with low amounts of fair trade ingredients as fair trade. The word, ingredients, doesn't do it for the average shopper. AND, do products with 20% ingredients change communities? I want to see the research on this. Read here for more info


This says something: Equal Exchange left Fair Trade USA!! That is hugely momentous. They are now certified under Fair Trade For Life. Here's their label. I don't know too much about them, but they are on my agenda to learn about. But if EE is switching labels, we need to pay attention. EE don't play with fools.

Happy Weekend everyone!
PS: Stay tuned for some really good news!