Grow your own fair tax mark

We don’t judge; we build bridges written by Meesha Nehru, project developer at Fair Tax Mark, is worth a read (along with the comments from Ben Saunders), and her FTM colleague Tim Hunt has posted Small start, big impact. He notes that since the launch of the FTM “much has been made of our similarities with the Fairtrade Foundation”.

This is understandable, and we saw last week that Alex Cobham, one of FTM’s technical advisers, suggested during a talk in 2011, on poverty and fair trade, that it might be time for a “fair tax label”.

My knowledge of fair trade is limited but I regard the movement as a force for good. I suspect that most people do, without really knowing what fair trade means or who certifies fair trade products.

The fair trade movement has its critics. Some of the criticisms are set out in this Wikipedia entry. Note the warning that the criticisms section “may compromise the article’s neutral point of view of the subject”, but there do appear to be some valid concerns. The article notes that there are “several recognised Fairtrade certifiers”. But the Fairtrade Foundation says it is responsible for certifying Fairtrade products in the UK.

One of the criticisms levelled at the new FTM – which is constituted, by the way, as a “not-for-profit community benefit society registered under the Industrial and Provident Societies Act” – is that the seven-strong FTM “team” is self-appointed. The initiative has the enthusiastic backing of Ethical Consumer.

And this brings me back to the question: “Who decides what is the ‘right amount’ of tax?Continue reading