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Economist: Paying extra for fair-trade coffee—coffee labeled with the

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Re: Economist: Paying extra for fair-trade coffee—coffee labeled with the  [#permalink]

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New post 13 Apr 2019, 12:55
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Leonaann wrote:
So, this is how I interpreted the question.
the argument the practice of by paying extra for fair-trade coffee hurts farmers in general right. And we need to decide which is helpful to evaluate the economists argument by looking for reasons that would be helpful to determine whether paying extra for fair-trade coffee hurts farmers.

Hence I chose option A as the answer.
I am not able to understand why option B helps in evaluating the argument. Please help to shed some light on this! thank you.


Hi,

The last line of the passage suggests that this practice of paying more to fair-trade-marked coffee is hurting rather than helping to non-fair trade farmers.
So, in order to strengthen the economist's point i.e, the prices are lower for non-trade farmers, it is necessary to evaluate what is the percentage of non-fair to fair trade farmers in developing nations.
Simple first thought that should ocme to your mind if, if price for non-trade is lowering +> the quantity for non-trade coffee is more => the number of non-fair trade coffee farmers is possibly high.
Thus, we need to know the percentage of fair-trade and non-fair trade coffee farmers in developing nations. Choice (B) is correct.
Choice (A) focuses on ways to increase the price of non-fair trade coffee. It does not help in strengthen the conclusion of economist which is why is it hurting than helping the farmers.

Hope this helps.

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Re: Economist: Paying extra for fair-trade coffee—coffee labeled with the  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Aug 2019, 19:11
premise- fair coffee, farmers get better price. more farmers produce extra coffee, lowering prices of non fair coffee and put prices low


assumption - farmers can not supply more coffee to fair trade price from the extra production


conclusion this practice hurts more farmers in developing nations
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Re: Economist: Paying extra for fair-trade coffee—coffee labeled with the  [#permalink]

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New post 26 Aug 2019, 08:41
not sure why a is incorrect - can i get some help please
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Re: Economist: Paying extra for fair-trade coffee—coffee labeled with the  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Sep 2019, 09:38
rnn wrote:
not sure why a is incorrect - can i get some help please

SarahPurewal said it succinctly here, but I'm happy to give this more of a deep dive!

Remember that the conclusion here is:

Quote:
this practice (paying extra for fair-trade coffee) may hurt more farmers in developing nations than it helps.

Heres how the argument breaks down:

  • Paying extra for fair-trade coffee raises average prices for coffee (including fair-trade and non-fair trade).
  • The rise in average prices for coffee encourages more coffee to be produced.
  • The increase in coffee production lowers prices for non-fair-trade coffee.
  • The lower prices for non-fair-trade coffee lowers profits for non-fair-trade coffee farmers.
  • Therefore, paying extra for fair-trade coffee may hurt more farmers in developing nations than it helps.

Notice that the author is making a logical leap between those last two steps. The author describes an impact on non-fair-trade farmers, then concludes that more farmers, in general, may by hurt than helped.

So to evaluate the strength of this argument, it would be certainly help us to know what proportion of coffee farmers in developing nations produce fair-trade coffee (or could beneficially switch from producing non-fair-trade coffee to fair-trade coffee). This is why we keep choice (B); it would help us decide whether to accept the logical leap that the author is making from non-fair-trade farmers to farmers, in general.

Now, let's take a closer look at choice (A):

Quote:
(A) Whether there is a way of alleviating the impact of the increased average prices for coffee on non-fair-trade coffee farmers' profits

And for good measure, let's refresh on the conclusion we're trying to evaluate:

Quote:
this practice (paying extra for fair-trade coffee) may hurt more farmers in developing nations than it helps.

The information in choice (A) refers to action taking place after non-fair-trade farmers' profits have already been reduced by the practice of paying extra for fair-trade coffee. Is this what we're being asked to evaluate?

Nope. While it would be nice to know whether there's a way to help negatively impacted farmers, this information has absolutely nothing to do with the specific logical argument being made by the author: That paying extra for fair-trade coffee may cause harm to more coffee farmers in developing nations than it helps. Even worse, choice (A) remains focused on non-fair-trade farmers, which means we still have no information to evaluate impact on farmers overall.

We're not being asked to evaluate how the impact of increased average prices could be alleviated, and we're not being asked to evaluate an argument that's only about non-fair-trade farmers. That's why we eliminate (A) and stick with (B).

I hope this helps!
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Re: Economist: Paying extra for fair-trade coffee—coffee labeled with the   [#permalink] 19 Sep 2019, 09:38

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