Cafédirect takes very seriously the issues raised about ­Fairtrade coffee by the Financial Times and echoes the words of Harriet Lamb, executive director of the Fairtrade Foundation, in The Grocer ('Fairtrade defends certificate in Peru', The Grocer 16 September, p12).

The Fairtrade Licensing Organisation standards require farmers' organisations to pay legal minimum wages for hired workers. Fairtrade Licensing Organisation-Cert inspects against these and treats non-compliance with great seriousness. The standards also state that small farmers, who are living below the minimum wage themselves, must take steps to improve the working conditions of temporary workers. Many workers receive benefits beyond payment, such as accommodation and meals.

As Cafédirect's name implies, we only buy tea, coffee and cocoa direct from growers. We also support our grower partners with mutually beneficial trading relationships, so that everyone - from grower to drinker - can have confidence in our products.

We will continue to work in direct partnership with our grower partners, who are shareholders in Cafédirect, and develop new partnerships to ensure that more growers earn a fair price, and can build a better future for themselves and their families instead of being reliant on the conventional system.