Our good friends over at Adam Smith Institute Blog were kind enough to publish a post of mine, on "Fair Trade."
For more on the effects of REAL commerce on "primitive" peoples, see Tyler Cowen's excellent book, "Creative Destruction: How Globalization is Changing the World's Cultures." He really nailed it, with lots of interesting details.
My own conclusion:
"Fair trade" raises costs to consumers. Worse, it enslaves the people it claims to help, with the invisible chains of artificial subsidy, and arrested economic development. If it pleases you to think of happy natives, living primitive lives, just go rent a BBC documentary, and let the market work.