robin sent your note to me about allegro. here's the scoop. allegro was once a private company that prided itself in the quality of its coffee under the leadership of kevin knox, a most arrogant and obnoxious know-it-all. allegro was bought out by whole foods and about a year ago kevin was finally ousted. allegro makes outrageous and false claims about what it pays to farmers and has avoided the fair trade movement like leprosy. allegro claims that it pays on average more than the international fair trade price and claims to have an audit by ernst and young to prove it. of course, in this neo-orwellian world, allegro refuses to let anyone see the audit or know what the terms of the audit were. but i am a coffee guy and i challenged starbucks publicly on the same bullshit and won, so i can tell you that allegro pays brokers and importers, not farmers, so their price claim is apples and oranges to what we in the fair trade movement pay farmers directly. they also, i believe, included their decaf prices in their calculation, and we have to add a dollar per pound to decaf (their money goes to the kraft or nestles owned swiss water plant).
basically, allegro is an ordinary business (no harm in that) pretending to be a socially responsible business (lots of harm in that), but in modern america, what else is new? sorry for the joyless note, but it's the end of the week and i get so tired of being in an industry where lying qua marketing is the coin of the realm.
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