It doesn't seem like a year since the last time there was a "Fair Trade Fortnight" but guess what, it is. And with the same regularity we have motion tabled in Parliament praising it which says it "supports fair trade as an established way for developing communities to trade their way out of poverty". Reality check. Free trade is the only fair trade. So called "Fair Trade" is a big con trick designed to make Islington Yummy Mummies feel like they are helping poor countries whilst the big rich countries maintain aggressive and oppressive tariff regimes on import.
There is nothing fair about "fair trade" because it has been designed to operate in a system of trade that is steeped in protectionism. The EU likes to think it is enlightened and in favour of international development. Gordon Brown claims that he wants to lift people in Africa out of poverty but he does nothing to remove the tariffs. If we really wanted to help developing countries trade their way out of poverty then how about we stop protecting our own industries and let them compete on a level playing field?
Wait! Ignore me, I'm being stupid. That would mean that lots of farmers here would have to diversify and adapt as they would not be able to compete with the prices, and we couldn't have that now could we! When you see promotion of so-called "Fair Trade" remember this, it exists in order to ensure that these countries can never trade to a point where they can pass us. It's claim to fairness is a lie.