The FT reports that fair trade coffee from Peru is being produced by workers who are not treated as Fair Trade consumers would wish:
The FT visited five Peruvian smallholdings, all of which have Fairtrade certification.
Each farm hires 12-20 casual coffee pickers during the harvest season. All house and feed their workers, which allows them to deduct 30 per cent from their wages.
After that reduction from the legal daily minimum wage for casual agricultural workers of 16 soles ($5),farm owners are still obliged to pay at least 11.20 soles a day. In four of the five farms visited by the FT, pickers received 10 soles aday, while the other farm paid workers 12 soles a day.
The Fair Trade brand depends completely on the credibility of the certification process; and it has always been somewhat haphazard and untransparent. The fair trade labelling organization, FLO, needs to define clearer standards for the fair trade brand internationally, and to enforce them.