Interesting article about badger products...

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Sorry for going back on something already given up on the topic, but regarding the cost of omega boar, How do we know that the boar is italian? I mean, china is the biggest pig farmer of the world, I mean, Italian production is ridiculous compared with China (in fact it is marginal even if we just look to the EU countries)
For the rest of the commented topics, I am with @alfredus , but things has to be viualized in perspective, as @nav1 has pointed out
 

alfredus

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Just to add my 2c worth to the free trade issue, I agree that it can feed corrupt and overbearing governments and oligopolists at the expense of the masses and this should be fought so labour gets a fairer share of the profits (lets face it, developed countries aren't immune to this either).

However, it is also true that I don't think anyone is forcing people to work in sweat shops, in general. People working in a sweat shop usually do so because it is better than any of the other options they have in front of them at the time. If we take away free trade, we take even that option away from them... on top of all their other woes, as well as making products more expensive for everyone else. It's a race to the bottom in terms of who is prepared to work for the lowest cost but for the people who really are at the bottom, it's a step up that they desperately need when no-one else is offering them anything at all.
I really didn't want to post on this, but...

I never said to take away free trade, i just said it is problematic and that WE (as the usual richer nation) should demand at least some sort of minimum labour conditionds etc.

But then we would miss out on the cheapest (crap) products and we certainly don't want that :(
 
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I really didn't want to post on this, but...

I never said to take away free trade, i just said it is problematic and that WE (as the usual richer nation) should demand at least some sort of minimum labour conditionds etc.

But then we would miss out on the cheapest (crap) products and we certainly don't want that :(
We are in complete agreement.

As for omega boars I have no idea where the bristle comes from but they are put together by a bunch of ladies in Italy from what I'm told.
 
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From what I gather reading back through this thread two things seem to be reasonably agreed upon.

1) The majority of badger hair produced in China generally seems to suffer from the poor industry standards of the region. Including the treatment of both the animals and the workers.

2) Some smaller artisans pay a higher price (Most likely to China again) for the product in order to ensure higher standards (Of animal, staff and product) the costs of which are passed on to the customer.

I guess my curiosity asks the questions:

A: Is it feasible that there is a parallel industry within China wherein improved standards of treatment for animals and workers exists.

B: Whose claim regarding these standards is being accepted. (For example is there an independent organisation eg. Fair Trade that supervises and endorses these sites.)

While admirable that artisans are trying to do the right thing, without independent oversight (And small producers certainly cannot visit manufacturing sites regularly to do so.) I'm not sure that we can accept that the higher price paid by ethically minded producers is going to anyone except the corporation.

Not intending to stir the pot, nor am I getting embroiled in whether or not we should be paying workers a higher wage etc. I'm just not sure that an ethical option in the industry even exists. Does anyone have any follow up/links to Chinese suppliers that claim to be ethical?
 

Arnold J Rimmer

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I have seen first hand the labour market in India when I went to a factory owned by my cousin brother...the 14 labourers earn about $6 a day each. Is this "slave labour" or "poor working conditions"?...in our eyes yes, but outside of those 14 labourers, there's at least another 1000 just waiting to get the opportunity to earn this much. Every day my cousin gets at least 25 people approaching him for a job, and this is in an industrial area with 200+ factories.
It's just the demand/supply of the particular labour markets.
Late to the conversation... but I'll add to this. We have a warehouse in China, where we have our products (toys) tested and checked before being shipped out. Once they leave China, there is really no recourse... and it saves us thousands to do it this way. Being able to return faulty stock to the factory (they don't like that) ensures that we get better stock in the first place.

When we first started out, the average worker was earning about $0.70 per hour. We told our agent to double it at least, but she warned us against it, saying that if we raise the price, a couple of things would happen. Firstly, the workers would be suspicious that because we are offering more, that we wouldn't pay them (too good to be true)... so they wouldn't show up for work. Secondly, if they did show for work, we would obviously pay them. However, word would spread in the local village, and the workers would be attacked by their neighbours for earning more. The insistence on equity where we frequent is almost religious. The workers were fine with the going rate, so we had to toe the line.

So we paid cash bonuses instead, and they were ok with it... :rolleyes:



I guess my curiosity asks the questions:

A: Is it feasible that there is a parallel industry within China wherein improved standards of treatment for animals and workers exists.
China is a very opaque place. My experience is quite narrow, but without an outside observer any additional amounts paid would go straight into the factory owner's coffers. Unless you have a contract in place, and an agent overseeing better conditions, you will get assurances, but nothing more. You will be told how much better conditions are, but nothing will have changed, because there is no incentive to.


B: Whose claim regarding these standards is being accepted. (For example is there an independent organisation eg. Fair Trade that supervises and endorses these sites.)
Again, I think it goes back to my first answer. The Chinese would resist companies like Fairtrade looking over their shoulder. Especially as places like Yaqi are privately held. Things might be changing, and we do get SGS testing on some off our products (for lead paint), but we have to organise that ourselves...
 
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tim33z

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When we first started out, the average worker was earning about $0.70 per hour. We told our agent to double it at least, but she warned us against it, saying that if we raise the price, a couple of things would happen. Firstly, the workers would be suspicious that because we are offering more, that we wouldn't pay them (too good to be true)... so they wouldn't show up for work. Secondly, if they did show for work, we would obviously pay them. However, word would spread in the local village, and the workers would be attacked by their neighbours for earning more. The insistence on equity where we frequent is almost religious. The workers were fine with the going rate, so we had to toe the line.

So we paid cash bonuses instead, and they were ok with it... :rolleyes:
*gobsmacked*
 

nav1

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Late to the conversation... but I'll add to this. We have a warehouse in China, where we have our products (toys) tested and checked before being shipped out. Once they leave China, there is really no recourse... and it saves us thousands to do it this way. Being able to return faulty stock to the factory (they don't like that) ensures that we get better stock in the first place.

When we first started out, the average worker was earning about $0.70 per hour. We told our agent to double it at least, but she warned us against it, saying that if we raise the price, a couple of things would happen. Firstly, the workers would be suspicious that because we are offering more, that we wouldn't pay them (too good to be true)... so they wouldn't show up for work. Secondly, if they did show for work, we would obviously pay them. However, word would spread in the local village, and the workers would be attacked by their neighbours for earning more. The insistence on equity where we frequent is almost religious. The workers were fine with the going rate, so we had to toe the line.

So we paid cash bonuses instead, and they were ok with it... :rolleyes:





China is a very opaque place. My experience is quite narrow, but without an outside observer any additional amounts paid would go straight into the factory owner's coffers. Unless you have a contract in place, and an agent overseeing better conditions, you will get assurances, but nothing more. You will be told how much better conditions are, but nothing will have changed, because there is no incentive to.




Again, I think it goes back to my first answer. The Chinese would resist companies like Fairtrade looking over their shoulder. Especially as places like Yaqi are privately held. Things might be changing, and we do get SGS testing on some off our products (for lead paint), but we have to organise that ourselves...
That doesn't surprise me at all!

Similar things happen in India within the labour class.
They don't like when a member of their community earns much more than the rest.

The opposite sometimes happens too. E.g. In our gated community, the maids have set their rates double of the city-wide rate.
It has become a cartel and if another maid comes in at a lower rate, the existing ones will coerce her to leave the society.

@Ckoerntjes
I doubt there will be any improvement in the treatment of animals or humans.
If any brush maker says their badger hair is from a humane source,I wouldn't believe it.

Brush makers paying extra for better and more specific sorting of hair is believable for sure as the supplier earns more and will be happy to comply.
But this may increase the cost of a hair bundle by a couple of dollars each, not $60+ that brush makers would have us believe.

In terms of better work conditions, let me give an example...
My sis in law was in Amazon HQ in India and she was working around the clock, crap management...major exploitation!!

She moved to Amazon London and she says it's heaven relative to Amazon India!


My mother in law is D.Lit (higher than a PhD)...She earns just over $2K a month!!
But they live very comfortably.

We only believe what we are told...especially by mainstream media!

It's all relative, nothing is absolute in this world.
Such a massive population has its own consequences.
 
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