Economist: Paying extra for fair-trade coffee——coffee labeled with the Fairtrade logo——is intended to help poor farmers, because they receive a higher price for the fair-trade coffee they grow. But this practice may hurt more farmers in developing nations than it helps. By raiding average prices for coffee, it encourages more coffee to be produced than consumers want to buy. This lower prices for no-fair-trade coffee and thus lowers profits for non-fair-trade coffee farmers.
To evaluate the strength of the economist’s argument, it would be most helpful to know which of the following?
Whether there is a way of alleviating the impact of the increased average prices for coffee on non-fair-trade coffee farmer’s profits
What proportion of coffee farmers in developing nations produce fair-trade coffee
Whether many coffee farmers in developing nations also derive income from other kinds of farming
Whether consumers should pay extra for fair-trade coffee if doing so lowers profits for non-fair-trade coffee farmers
How fair-trade coffee farmers in developing nations could be helped without lowering profits for non-fair-trade coffee farmers