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 isnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢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. Ã¢â‚¬Å“ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s like outlawing private enterprise,Ã¢â‚¬Â says former SCAA chair Cox, who now serves as president of a coffee consulting company. Ã¢â‚¬Å“What about a medium-sized family-owned farm thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s doing great, treats their employees great? Sorry, they donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t qualify.Ã¢â‚¬Â In Africa, many coffee farms are organized along tribal, not democratic lines. TheyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢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.