Here’s something I didn’t know.
Martinez owns a small family farm and produces a high-quality coffee, but none of his beans carry the Fair Trade label. His farm isnÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t part of a cooperative, a Fair Trade non-negotiable that disqualifies small, independent farmers, larger family farms, and for that matter any multinational that treats its workers well. ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œItÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s like outlawing private enterprise,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â says former SCAA chair Cox, who now serves as president of a coffee consulting company. ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œWhat about a medium-sized family-owned farm thatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s doing great, treats their employees great? Sorry, they donÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t qualify.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â In Africa, many coffee farms are organized along tribal, not democratic lines. TheyÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢re not eligible either, a problem that has prompted some roasters to charge cultural imperialism.
We have Fair Trade at the coffee kiosk here on campus. I should ask around to see how widespread my lack of knowledge is.
There’s a whole article about Fair Trade at Reason.