The Financial Times reports that:
“‘Ethical’ coffee is being produced in Peru, the world’s top exporter of Fairtrade coffee, by labourers paid less than the legal minimum wage. Industry insiders have also told the FT of non-certified coffee being marked and exported as Fairtrade, and of certified coffee being illegally planted in protected rainforest.
This casts doubt on the certification process used by Fairtrade and similar marks that require producers to pay the minimum wage.
It also raises questions about the assurances certifiers give consumers about how premium-priced fair trade coffee is produced…
…Though certified coffee makes up less than 2 per cent of the global coffee trade it has become increasingly mainstream as large retailers such as Starbucks and McDonald’s adopt it.”