Tuesday, March 13, 2007

"Organic" marketing leaves bitter taste

Organic and fair trade products are becoming more and more popular among consumers and many companies are jumping on the "sustainable bandwagon." I have an inner conflict with the present situation...organic and fair trade products are good and the more people buying these products the better, but major companies who have no previous concern or care about sustainability who are suddenly promoting these types of products purely for profit kinda bugs me. Especially when there are smaller businesses where sustainability is part of their mission and vision statements.

For example, Proctor & Gamble just came out with a grocery store line of organic coffee by Millstone. The reviews were...well terrible. Here is a sampling :

"...it tasted like coffee that was too weak made in a dirty pot"

"It was a surprise to us all that such a strong, dark and assertive-looking brew could taste so flat, insipid and lifeless. It left an odd coating on the tongue."

"..it reminded me of a hot puddle of seawater sitting on a pair of discarded rubber waders on a crab-fishing boat. "

Furthermore, when Proctor & Gamble was questioned about the origins and quality of the coffee, they strategically half answered and skirted around the questions.

My point is that when you purchase coffee that is mass produced by a company that really doesn't know much about sustainability, taste and quality is always going to be sacrificed. Just because something has pretty packaging and eco friendly words does not mean its legit--Thanks P&G for leaving a bitter taste in people's mouths.