Re: Inter-American Shipping

Tom Abeles (
Tue, 2 Apr 1996 16:51:45 -0500 (EST)

Robert Kane and Steve Hall and others raise the issues of energy in
shipping of agricultural commodities- The issue is more general than
this. Manufacturing in other countries is also an energy issue. As loog
as there is cheap fuel than the issue of wages becomes paramount. If
energy costs rise preciptously then industry will tend to move to more
local production including,regional

Thus, one needs to look at two issues- energy and cash-- where is the
sensitive point-- My sense tells me that it is the shipping issue both in
cash and btu's

coffee is another issue entirely- one is not certain that e quality of
product can be produced in each country- there are so many variables that
impact on the final brew.

Again economics plays a critical issue here- a superficial analysis based
on information in a recent issue of the new internationalist seems to
indicate that the increased economic benefit to the producer is seen in
the elevated price paid by the consumer which also supports the socially
responsible infrastructure- the large cost of the middle seems to have
remained in place

It would be interesting if this economics of coffee is spelled out for us
to see both for conventionally produced beans to market and socially
responsible products

It also seems that the bulk of the coffees, mulch of which goes into
instant is still under the control of Nestle's- true?

tom abeles