If I may cloud our collective moral certainties still further,
I would pose that the "fair trade" label is a more egregious candidate for a meaningless marker when applied to gourmet tea. The fair trade label is prominent in the world of coffee, where Vietnamese overproduction and concentrated buying power (just four companies - P&G, Sara Lee, Kraft and Nestle - buy 60% of world's coffee) has driven the price of arabica beans to hover around $1.23 per pound. The price paid for "fair trade" coffee? $1.26 per pound.
The subsidy of three cents is meaningless in the realm of gourmet tea, where market prices are many times higher. Demand for the product in most cases outstrips supply, placing tea growers and farmers in an enviable position of commending ever-higher prices. As consumers of tea, we should all savor the relative affordability that tea now offers. Its price is rising, and will continue to do so.
The cause of this is the growing affluence of the two-billion people (a third of the world's population) in India and China. The demand this places on the relatively static supply of tea is doing more to lift prices and enhance the lives of tea farmers than "fair trade" subsidy could ever hope to accomplish.
Without denigrating the modest benefits "fair trade" brought to the realm of coffee, I suggest we pause to consider these facts before jumping to conclude that teas labeled "fair trade" are good, all others being bad.