This article appeared on Wall Street Journal on Feb 9, 2013.
By SUSAN SARANDON
I buy coffee designated "fair trade" because the higher price contributes to improved living standards for small farmers in Latin America—to a point. Profits from a fair-trade coffee crop can support a family for many months, although not all the way until the next harvest season. Then the farm families live through a period of food insecurity so common it has its own name: "los meses flacos," the thin months.