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I think this is a misleading ratio. It doesn't take into account for instance the fact that coffee production is mostly just planting, picking, roasting and grinding beans, while cocoa production is drastically more equipment and process intensive.
- But the employability-meter could be useful within one country eg. a company based in Finland might employ X people in Finland and Y people in China. Now as in Finland it is fully possible to get cashflow, asset and profit information that could be compared for each consumer according to her/his preferences on which countries to value for employment effect.
- This is a very bad way to make a decision. It doesn't fit into the individual buying criteria of most Greens, and for good reason. It creates only protectionism which is not the best way to get comprehensive outcomes of high moral value. To buy local doesn't mean to prefer something from across your own country to something from just across a border you live near. So countries aren't the way to do this.
- Further on the employability ratio could be related to median or average pay to be more informative. Also UN Human Development Index might be included in the evaluation
- "Pay" is worthless. Try purchasing power parity or as you say the UN HDI.
You would expect to find a lot more people employed in the processing of cocoa than of coffee. Does that make cocoa better than coffee? Some would argue the opposite, that because coffee takes almost no equipment to process, that it is not creating pollution via factory processes and it is easier to get fair trade coffee to market than it is for cocoa.
So how do I do comparison of moccacino with espresso at Starbucks? Yeargh. Too many values mixed up and assumed in one metric.
The basic idea is sound, but, you must more directly compare a labour-intensive to a capital-intensive process. There is such a thing as capital intensity ratio in some theories of economics I think, and many economists believe that a low ratio is much more appropriate in developing nations. w:E. F. Schumacher had the concept w:intermediate technology to reflect this, which was a compromise between the "no tools, too much labour" of poor places, the "little highly skilled labour, way too many high tech tools employing a vast hierarchy of specialist" rule of rich places. A developing nation according to him had to replace US$1 worth of tools with US$10 and US$100 worth, not US$10,000 worth as in a modern US factory...