Saturday, December 1, 2007

Certified Fair Labor

So I was listening to NPR on Black Friday and the topic of consumerism was being discussed. The host was interviewing a pollster from the LA Times and a journalist who wrote a book called "A Year Without Made in China". The pollster said that overwhelmingly people would be willing to pay a few cents more for products if it guaranteed they were manufactured under fair labor practices. However, manufacturers say that they are simply giving consumers what they want with ever decreasing prices, which puts incredible pressure on the manufacturing process to cut costs. Like labor costs. It got me thinking about coffee. There are at least three common seals placed on coffee - Fair Trade, Certified Organic, and Shade Grown. Why isn't there a "Fair Labor Practices" seal that can be put on products? Has anyone heard of anything like this? I realize that it would be tough to monitor, but why couldn't it work? I'm pretty sure that products with a seal like that would command a premium well worth the cost of getting certified.

1 comment:

Jared said...

Update: I checked out who certify coffee as "Fair Trade". They seem to be focused on agricultural products, including rice, flowers, and cotton - but I didn't see anything about certifying fair labor practices... If you have any ideas, let me know!