FT_Follow_the_thread

FT_Follow_the_thread - Document View ProQuest

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Document View .. 1 of 7 7/24/06 1:24 PM ProQuest Back to Document View Follow the thread From the fields of Mali to a rack of jeans in Marks and Spencer, Alan Beattie investigates the spin-offs for those growing and selling the latest Fairtrade product: cotton; [SURVEYS EDITION] ALAN BEATTIE . Financial Times . London (UK): Jul 22, 2006. pg. 16 Companies: American Express Co(Ticker:AXP, NAICS: 551111, 522210, Sic:6211, 6282, 6099, 7389, 6221, 6159, Duns:00-697-9 ) , Gap Inc(Ticker:GPS, NAICS: 448110, 448120, 448130, Duns:04-862-6915 ) , Nestle Enterpri Inc Author(s): ALAN BEATTIE Section: FT WEEKEND MAGAZINE - Feature Publication title: Financial Times. London (UK): Jul 22, 2006. pg. 16 Source type: Newspaper ProQuest document ID: 1081442731 Text Word Count 4590 Document URL: Abstract (Document Summary) Prices are set and permission to use the Fairtrade mark granted by the Fairtrade Labelling Organisation (FLO), a Berlin-based non- profit association, and its national chapters, of which the Fairtrade Foundation is the British one. To become "certified" as Fairtrade, which costs a small fee, a co-operative has to convince inspectors contracted to FLO that it meets basic environmental and labour standards and is able to decide collectively on what to spend the social premium. Later on in the production chain, the wholesaler pays Fairtrade an extra levy of 2 per cent of the product's value, which pays for FLO's 100 or so staff and running costs. In theory, spinning Fairtrade cotton has the advantage of less competition. Although Fairtrade certifies only growers, it requires all producers in the supply chain to adhere to basic labour standards, including the right to join an independent trade union, which essentially rules China out. But because the batch needs to be kept separate, spinning Fairtrade lint requires a faintly bizarre and time-consuming ritual. Every machine has first to be shut down and cleared of conventional cotton from the previous run before the Fairtrade bundles are fed in. It can take several days to do the switchover, and [Patrick Mathieu] says some Fairtrade batches are too small to make it worthwhile. has categorically promised he would not increase margins on Fairtrade produce. Companies (and the Fairtrade Foundation) also point out that what might look like wider margins may simply be unseen higher costs - not so much the higher price paid to farmers as the extra effort of buying small lots from co-operatives, particularly in new products where the supply system is still bedding down. The M&S Fairtrade cotton T-shirt, for example, retails at Pounds 8, a pound more than a conventional equivalent. But a lot of the difference reflects limited availability of Fairtrade cotton
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FT_Follow_the_thread - Document View ProQuest

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