To all the people who forward me articles or retweet articles from, just stop.  I’m not going to look at them anymore, and I hope everyone who dreams up this drivel ends up on the street.

1.  Linkbait is not out to inform, they’re the Howard Stern of Websites.

2.  List-Mania

They never actually write anything substantial just lists of “facts” designed to grab your interest

3.  Factually Incorrect

The “facts” that they do cite come from questionable sources, usually with an axe to grind behind the scene.

4.  Terrible analogies

To “dumb it down” for you, they make terrible analogies trying to illustrate their point 


4 Reasons Why Fair Trade Coffee Is a Scam

 “Fact” 1:  Growers Are Paid Very Little for Fair Trade Coffee. says that the floor rate of $1.40 is less than the price that growers can sell on the open market, and it dreams up prices of 3 to 4 times that.  

Actual Fact: If you check an actual market, the price is $1.02 per pound, and that’s after the grower has sold it to a distributor, and the coffee market is at a 34 year high.  In reality, most growers around the world that are selling it get around .50c per pound.  

Terrible Analogy:  This is like a Blockbuster clerk being able to earn more cash if he just takes all the videos home and charges admission to his living room.

“Fact” 2:  Consumers Are Charged Much More for Fair Trade Coffee

Actual Fact:  A pound of French Roast that I get from a Mexican Co-op through Bridgehead costs CAD 16.67, A pound of French Roast from Starbucks costs CAD 16.95  This is even with the .10c/pound Fair Trade certification and the floor price.  If you’re paying more for Fair Trade coffee, you’re doing it wrong.

Terrible Analogy:  Otherwise, they’d just filter day-old coffee from the break room through the manager’s sock, call it something with “Nicaraguan” or “Colombian” in the name, and sell that to you

“Fact” 3: Fair Trade Is Essentially a Marketing Organization

Actual Fact: Missing the forest for the trees edition Yes, they do marketing, but what they’re marketing is coffee from growers whose marketing budget would otherwise be Sweet Fuck-All, growers who would otherwise get paid less, and have no marketing.  Those bastards.  They also work with everyone from the World Bank to small individual farmers to try and make their lives better.

Terrible Analogy (Bonus Edition):  that’s like Drew Rosenhaus collecting 50 bucks for every Terrell Owens jersey that gets sold —- This is the same relationship that Disney has with children.

“Fact” 4:Growers Receive a Higher Percentage from Non-Fair Trade Coffee Sales

Actual Fact:  This “Fact” is not really wrong, it’s just nonsense. It cites a Finnish study (which you can’t read) that says that 12% of the revenue from Fair Trade Coffee goes back to the farmers, then in the very next sentence “ That is, none of that revenue […] was making it back to their countries in any way”, so according to new math 12% = 0.  I’m pretty sure they’re just making shit up at this point because rules says pointless lists have to have more than 3 “facts”

Terrible Analogy:  the FLO is like KONY 2012 

And there you go.  Better than any article, and actually true. 

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29 November 2012