I'm afraid I don't understand the question: "ring true?"
I know that I don't fully trust that "fair trade certified" is meaningful when it comes to tea. I think that many tea farms that have not paid all of the proper certifying officials, inspectors and organizations are still run ethically, with both farmers and workers paid prevailing fair trade rates. Granted, there are only a couple groups offering certification for the certifiers. The one linked gives a stamp of approval to 20 different certifying companies. There are other oversight agencies as well.
I feel the same way about "organic."
In addition, once you step outside the U.S., I believe it is a simple task to pay someone to "certify" your farm, and provide a counterfeit verification.
I agree wholeheartedly with the principles of fair trade, however, I think the implementation is still in its infancy and still rather meaningless in most cases.
It's 11:40pm here, so technically still my Thursday TeaDay. I have been enjoying the Teamaster's Baozhong from the oolong pass box. A truly superior oolong, and what a treat. I thought I would call it quits before it gave out, but on the 11th steep it seems to be at an end. 3.5g in 100ml. Wonderful.
(why oh why did I host this on Photobucket? PB slaughtered
the image quality. bleh.)
Sal, matcha? I think that's the first matcha photo I've seen from you. Am I a bad influence?
Love that table runner, and it's a good thing you live cross-country, or I might break in and steal that sweet little chawan.