The idea that ethical shopping is 'going to save the world' just gets more and more popular. The Economist magazine has just run a good feature on this issue, arguing, correctly in my opinion, that 'transforming the planet requires duller disciplines, like politics'. The Economist's actual political solutions might not fit with mine - as they're narrowly based on the ballot box and trade deals - but their general point that 'no amount of fairtrade coffee will elimate poverty, and all the organic asparagus in the world will not save the planet' is basically true.
Second, the article argues, interestingly, that many of the commonly trusted methods of ethnical shopping can actually be counterproductive. For instance, organic farming requires significantly more land and resources than that produced by intensive high-tech farming, the Fairtrade system encourages overproduction and only a tiny percentage of the markup goes to the farmer, and the most significant aspect of foodmiles is not where in the world a product comes from but how you get to the supermarket to purchase it.