More on food. Fair trade or food fascism? “Fair Trade” food annoys and insults me. How about you? (Part 7 of “what should a Libertarian Party do” is tomorrow.)


Updates are shown in red, to be fair to everyone.

David Davis 


I always say that, to annoy the lefties, nazis, government-state-ownership-of-people-obesity-gauleiters, and anti-globalisation-students/food-police/carboncrats.

However, you can’t escape “Fair Trade” brands of the sort of food-product you’d expect rightly to be grown in hot poor countries, even there. Now as a Libertarian, I have no objection to people willingly agreeing if they want to, to pay more money than they need to, whether via middlemen like Sir Terry Leahy or not, for food that they could get more cheaply at Kwiksave or wherever. But I object to the snidely-implied threat or “slide” put on “ordinary” trade by calling their brands “FAIR TRADE” or its variations.

Does that imply that all other transactions concerning this stuff, from other suppliers, are “unfair trade”? That can’t have been the original intention………….or was it?

The problem with “fair trade” brands is that the word “fair” has been prostituted and lynched by the nazis, for us, while we were not looking – and for their ends and not the growers’ or ours. They play upon our sense of FAIRNESS by pretending that we, somehow, by freely being consumers of stuff that human invention is able to bring to us over thousands of miles, for little money or power, are robbing the producers of the benefit of same. “Fair” sounds good, if you believe that profit is wrong and bad, and that “TNCs” exploit people in “LEDCs”.

But if you are Fidel Castro, or Peter Mandelson, or Stalin, or the “sharers” whom the Hobbits finally encountered on their return to the Shire after the war of the Ring, then it can mean what you want us to think it is supposed to mean.

The top post on this site, put on today 14th March 2008, tells you the consequences of this line of thinking as regards British students in general.

One response to “More on food. Fair trade or food fascism? “Fair Trade” food annoys and insults me. How about you? (Part 7 of “what should a Libertarian Party do” is tomorrow.)

  1. ‘Fair Trade’ really annoys me too.
    Free trade is the only fair trade, these subsidies distort the market.

    Even worse is those who would force it upon you. They are free to spend their money as they like, if they want to buy inferior produce for more then they can (most fair trade produce I’ve tasted is inferior).

    Perhaps the worst of all is the condescending way it is often looked at- those poor black people somewhere all love slaving away to produce our goods, we should keep them that way by subsidising it.
    This helps prevent innovation and hinders the entrepreneurial spirit which is essential for wealth creation. Then again, that’s probably not wanted due to it being ‘bad for the environment’ (all technology is in some people’s eyes it seems)