Fair trade labeling is becoming enormously popular for labor-intensive specialty foods such as tea, chocolate, and coffee. Having personally seen fair trade practices at Makaibari Tea Estate and compared them to other non-fair-trade tea estates in Darjeeling, I can say that it can make a huge difference. (In the case of Makaibari, strides toward gender equality were particularly evident.)
A new film called Black Gold examines and questions production and fair trade practices with regard to coffee. My sister saw it when it first showed in London and she loved it. I am looking forward to seeing it and comparing it to the tea world. It will be showing three weeks in a row in NYC starting April 5. Here's the schedule. If you're in town, check it out!