Friday, October 05, 2012

the fair trade iphone

If a regular cup of coffee costs $3, for a few cents more we can buy fair trade coffee, and make sure that local workers and growers of the coffee get to keep more of the profit. Besides fair trade coffee there is fair trade tea, rice, chocolate, and other products. In a world where the little guy is often overrun, buying fair trade is an easy way of doing the right thing.

Apple's products, the iphone, the different ipods, the ipad, and so on, are manufactured in China. When I turn over my iphone on the back it says, in silver letters, "Designed by Apple in California. Assembled in China."

Thousands of workers were on strike today in one of Apple's facilities in Zhengzhou in north-central China. Why? Workers assembling the iproducts are under a lot of pressure: long days, little pay, no time off, and "impossibly strict standards". "Employees could not even turn out iphones that met the standard", said the widely cited organization China Labor Watch.

The new iphone, the iphone 5, costs from $199, with a 2-year contract. What would you be willing to pay for a fair trade iphone? $299?