Come January first, forget everything you know about Fair Trade.
The 21st Century Nomad blog by sociologist Nicki Lisa Cole entitled Fair Trade is Dead. Long Live the Farmer Cooperative, summarizes dramatic changes in the way we think of products with the 'fair trade' label.
Fair Trade USA (FTUSA) has changed the rules dramatically. While they will continue to market the small-scale farmer and the cooperative as the face of the brand, the base of it will be transnational corporations and large-scale plantations. So much for the little guy.
A recent New York Times article takes an in depth look at how this issue will play out in local Starbucks, Wal-Mart and food markets carrying products labled 'fair trade.'