My coffee officianado friend tells me that McDonalds coffee actually tastes much better that you expect.
I'm a bit cynical about the "fair trade" thing... its a bit like 'free range eggs' isn't it? What I mean is someone has created a standard that we define as "fair trade" but I think you can safely assume that people in the UK making the buying decisions on coffee, sugar, chocolate etc, still wouldn't work in the conditions that you get in 'fair trade'. Perhaps "a little bit fairer trade" might be a better name!
Now of course a lot of the world's crops don't get bought by consumers, but are processed into other products - and just like the eggs that make your mayonnaise are probably bought on price not ethics. Fair trade prices are (usually) set regionally or nationally - which means it is still easier to exploit the poorest countries to produce our products.
There are strong arguments for producing our food locally - not flying it in from the otherside of the world, but I can buy Kenyan runner beans with a fair trade logo but not UK or french ones. Obviously this might not be possible for coffee - but generally speaking it would be better for the environment - and the economy if we sourced goods closer to home. Indeed if you wanted to make the 'world better' and make yourself healthier at the same time you'd probably stop drinking coffee altogether! Of course that might force coffee farmers into producing other crops... ...perhaps drugs - where exploitation applies throughout the supply chain.
Is it not all a "social construct" to let middle class people feel better about themselves, whilst providing a comfortable income for the various administrators of the system that protects "the poor" from exploitation - whilst presumably the person answering the phone at Fair Trade HQ still gets paid significantly more that the guy picking the beans? I'm not suggesting that we shouldn't be concerned about where our food comes from or the standards of production - but is the answer really to look for a little magic label? I don't necessarily object to the labelling approach but I do object to being lectured at by anyone who decides that my ethics are not the same as theirs. Still if a little green and blue label makes you feel better about yourself on you go.