Tim alerts us to a report that coffee producers and four of the world's largest coffee companies -- Nestlé, Sara Lee, Kraft and Tchibo -- are set to agree on a plan to improve working conditions and environmental standards across the industry. Fully-implemented, it will cover 80% of the international coffee market.
Producers and traders adopting the code will have to pay minimum wages, cease using child labour, allow trade union membership and stick to international environmental standards on pesticides and water pollution. [...] Alongside the four companies, the voluntary code will apply to coffee producers from Brazil, central America and Africa. It will also be signed by NGOs, including Oxfam International and Greenpeace, and the International Union of Foodworkers, a federation of trade unions including coffee industry workers.
Hurrah! Same coffee, less guilt.
(Of course, I already buy Fair Trade coffee as often as I can afford to.)
Fair trade and not (what they call) Free trade.