Today the Chicago Maroon, an independent student newspaper of the University of Chicago, published a curious indictment of the Fair Trade movement: Chicago Maroon » Hurting the third world one latte at a time. Being the University of Chicago, the author takes a more world economic view of the issue.

While I completely disagree with some of his logic and predictions (e.g., that first world economies will resort to garbage coffee in a recession), he makes the case that Fair Trade offers the same economic incentives as farm subsidies. Could Fair Trade essentially incent third world nations to remain impoverished by keeping them beholden to agrarian economies?

Unfortunately, somebody has to grow good quality coffee. Because if the past is any indicator, it is not going to be the Vietnamese: Nestlé to buy quarter of Vietnam’s coffee exports – Vietnam latest news – Thanh Nien Daily.