Because you can't have depths without surfaces.
Linda Grant, thinking about clothes, books and other matters.

Thursday, 31 January 2008

Is it cotton?

"America produces 70 per cent of the world’s cotton, not Fairtrade. And they produce more than they can use, so there’s a cotton mountain. Plus, they get a government subsidy which is two thirds of the going rate of the price of cotton to produce, even if it is not being used. So occasionally, they ‘dump’ it on the world market which obviously devastates the price. For farmers in places like Mali and India this is catastrophic. It’s not a question of them going out of business - it’s a question of survival! I feel the US farmers should be paid a premium NOT to glut the market in order to stablise cotton world-wide and put the Third World farmers on an equal footing."

Sir Steve Redgrave, Olympic oarsman, on his campaign to introduce a range of fair trade cotton into Debenhams.

The 5G for Maine range will launch in 116 Debenhams high street stores nationwide from mid-February, in time for Fairtrade Fortnight, February 25th to March 3rd, which the chain will be supporting with window displays and instore activities.


Kuri said...

Both the EU and US subsidize huge over-production of agricultural commodities, distorting markets and unfairly penalizing farmers in both developed countries that do not subsidize (such as Canada and Australia) and especially in the developing world. Indeed, it was the refusal of developing nations' demands for free trade in agriculture (where these nations have comparative advantage) that ultimately led to the failure of the Doha summet to deepen the WTO. Which may in fact be for the best - but it illustrates how for the US and Europe free trade is only acceptable when in their interests.

Arabella said...

I've been wondering why so many American tops are made of nasty, clingy Modal. The penny drops.

Anne (in Reno) said...

Ugh. I knew we did it with corn but I didn't know we do it with cotton too. That's so ridiculous.

Anonymous said...

U.S. cotton is sought after throughout the world due to its grades, hence we produce more than we use to sell it. However, in order for the american farmer to produce such grades there are high input costs that are not paid for by the mills or the other cotton producing countries, therefore the government subsidizes to a point, but there are many limitations to this subsidy. And it is also a means of survival for the american farmer as well as any one else