August 31, 2011 |
Soaring coffee prices mean good times for peasant growers, but because financial speculation in part is fueling the prices, the high prices eventually could threaten suppliers of organic and other "socially conscious" coffees. U.S. retail coffee prices have risen more than 20% over the past 12 months and more than 57% in commodity markets. It's a windfall for growers after nearly a decade of horrible prices. "We haven't seen this kind of price in many, many years," said Linbano Cruz Alvarado, an organic grower who belongs to Union Majomut in Mexico's mountainous southern state of Chiapas.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 27, 2011 |
Sometimes, a cup of coffee is more than just a cup of coffee. That, at least, is the fervent belief of two Arizonans, one a buttoned-down Presbyterian minister, the other a tie-dyed Roman Catholic renegade. They are convinced that a steaming cup of cafe arabica could do nothing less than help solve the problem of illegal immigration. And that's just for starters. They also believe it can bring together liberals and conservatives, fulfill the Old Testament's prophetic vision of a "new heaven and new earth," and bring the wolf together with the lamb.
June 13, 2010 |
NICARAGUA Fair-trade culture Global Exchange runs what it calls "reality tours" — trips that give insight into what a place is really like, as opposed to what the typical tourist sees. During a nine-day Nicaragua itinerary, participants get immersed in the world of fair-trade agriculture. The experience includes living with and working alongside members of a fair-trade coffee cooperative, as well as visits to non-fair-trade farms for context. Also on the schedule are meetings with officials from development organizations, cooking classes, tours of colonial towns, excursions to volcanoes, a folk-music concert, a natural-medicine workshop and a stop at an organic-chocolate factory.
March 15, 2009 |
Forgot to buy your friend a gift from your last trip to Africa? Or maybe you'd like to fill your house with cool handmade gifts from India. TenThousandVillages.com has your back. The well-established nonprofit program works with artisans around the globe to sell their handicrafts and, in turn, give those who would otherwise be unemployed or underemployed a fair wage. What's hot: Shopping fair-trade items from around the world.
February 8, 2009
Re: David Lazarus' consumer column, "Stimulus proposal revives bad idea," Feb. 1: Kudos for the excellent article on the "buy American" provisions in the stimulus bill. As a former chair of the U.S. International Trade Commission, I know well what can happen when protectionists take control of economic policy: Less competition will lead to higher prices and lower quality. Protectionism and Buy America provisions will only exacerbate and prolong the recession. Susan Liebeler Malibu -- Lazarus fell for the usual "economist perspective" on foreign trade.
April 3, 2007 |
The Bush administration Monday accused 63 trading partners, including China and the European Union, of erecting unfair barriers to American exports. U.S. Trade Representative Susan Schwab released the new report, which the administration is required to prepare to inform Congress of its priorities in trying to tear down trade barriers.