Fair Trade, the global farmers' market
Fair Trade is a product label that ensures consumers that farmers got a fair price for their products.
Many of us try to eat sustainably. We look for local, in-season produce, we do community supported agriculture (CSA), we carry around the Monterey Bay Aquarium guide to seafood. And, boy, do we love our coffee.
Peruvian Fair Trade coffee farmer
But, unless you happen to live in Hawaii, you can't get "local" coffee in the States. So Fair Trade, "direct trade," and organic is the way to go.
in 2004 I visited CEPICAFE, a coffee cooperative in Peru that was exporting to the Fair Trade and organic markets in the USA, Japan and Europe. They proudly showed me the packages of roasted coffees from around the world that contained their beans. Had they not established relationships with buyers in these markets, they would never have known where their coffee ended up.
There's a lot of discussion about connecting people to the source of their food. Fair Trade is also an example of connecting the people who produce food to those who consume it.