Four years of micro-analysis in Uganda and Ethiopia led up to April’s publication by the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) at London University: Fairtrade, Employment and Poverty Reduction in Ethiopia and Uganda (FTEPR) Final Report. The report, a detailed account of various plantations in both countries, suggests that perhaps “Fairtrade” coffee isn’t so fair after all. “Fairtrade may ‘work’ but it does not quite do what it says on most of the labels,” the report says. “It aggravates rural inequality and at best may do so by supporting the emergence of rural capitalist producers; and it fails to make a difference, on the data collected,…
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