So there’s this thing called the Trans-Pacific Partnership. For all collective purposes, it looks like one of those NAFTA-styled free trade agreements that are supposed to support globalization and reduce barriers to trade. But in practice it’s more like a corporate/industrial-ag grab for continued growth on the backs of the poor. Plus all negotiations are taking place behind closed doors and then there are slimy folks who are trying to pass a bill that will allow them to fast track this bad boy.
You should all go here and sign this to oppose it and read more about it. I don’t have time to write it up or explain it completely, but you get my meaning. Sign this, then come back here.
Okay, welcome back, thanks for doing that. So here’s my point. Honestea – a company that claims to be Fair Trade was recently the target of one of these petitions (Right here, sign this too!). They’re owned by Coca-Cola. Coca-Cola is one of the companies in support of the TPP. So I signed this petition and they politely replied saying:
Dear Sir or Madam,
Thanks for emailing!
Honest Tea is firmly committed to purchasing organic, Fair Trade certified ingredients, whenever possible. We were the first bottled tea company to offer a Fair Trade certified ready-to-drink tea in 2003 and today all of our bottled teas are Fair Trade certified. We believe Fair Trade certification is the most direct way for us to continue improving working conditions and livelihoods for the men and women who cultivate and process the organic tea leaves we use to brew our teas. The more markets that are open to free trade, the more access we have to suppliers who can provide us with high quality ingredients produced according to fair trade standards.
Thanks for taking the time to get in touch!
If you have any further questions, please use the record number below and please don’t hesitate to contact us again.
Honest Tea, Consumer Affairs
Toll Free: 800-865-4736
Refreshingly HONEST® since 1998
So there’s something happening here. It’s one of those little tricks that sometimes gets labeled as greenwashing I guess. Basically, they go to all this expense to do organic and Fair Trade, but then they tacitly support things like the TPP. It’s akin to buying corn from small Mexican corn growers while at the same time pushing NAFTA.
The thing is that none of these deals like NAFTA and TPP are actually about ‘free trade’, it’s about ensuring cheap prices at the counter and forcing markets open open so the US can dump mass produced schlock on unwitting developing economies all the while gutting the USA manufacturing base and agricultural sector to source the cheapest possible elsewhere or consolidate all production while diluting your everyday buying power of your dollar in the name of ‘growth’, I think…
Either way, I don’t like this and I do not think it honest, Honestea.
PS>Apologies for this hastily written letter. I have to go make some dinner now. But seriously, go sign this.