~The concept of Fair Trade seems like common sense, at least to me it does. When you buy certain products with the Fair Trade symbol, producers in developing countries are paid a fair wage and provided a safe working environment. I first learned of the Fair Trade concept years ago at church of all places. Before Mass ended, someone would come up to the podium and share announcements with the congregation, such as the goings on at the school, Knights of Columbus events, and during certain times of the year, they would sell Fair Trade coffee and chocolate. At the time, I didn’t know what Fair Trade meant, I just wanted some chocolate haha. But that planted the seed in my mind that would sprout many years later.
I had done some research on the topic and thought, “Why doesn’t everyone do this? It doesn’t seem that hard to treat people fairly as they cultivate some our most widely used products.” According to Fair Trade International, the most widely traded products in the world include coffee, tea, cocoa & chocolate, handmade crafts, fresh fruit, flowers and gold. In fact, Fair Trade is established in over 90 countries!
Perhaps my favorite Fair Trade item I’ve come across is coffee. I am a coffee addict, and I have no shame admitting to that! I need coffee to function, as most of us do haha. When I had shopped on Thrive Market, they had a selection of Fair Trade items, most of which were coffee. The majority of the coffee selections were whole bean, and I don’t have a coffee grinder so that option was out. However, there was one company that made coffee in the form of K-Cups! And the cups are 100% biodegradable and compostable! 😀
The company was called Ethical Bean Coffee (very fitting). I purchased a box of medium roast K-Cups and eagerly awaited their arrival. Once they came, immediately I made a cup and enveloped myself in its exotic aroma and taste. It tasted like most medium roasts would, only better, because I knew I was making a difference in someone’s life and helping them prosper due to my coffee habit.
And I just learned that Starbucks’ Italian roast is made from Fair Trade beans! I’ll have to get my hands on it soon. Starbucks isn’t the only mainstream company to use Fair Trade products: Larabar uses Fair Trade chocolate in a few of its bars, Ben & Jerry’s ice cream uses Fair Trade bananas, sugar, vanilla and chocolate in some of their quirky flavors, and Cadbury uses Fair Trade chocolate. Easter will be here before you know it, so when it’s time to fill up those Easter baskets, fill them with Cadbury chocolate eggs. The Easter Bunny would be proud of you supporting Fair Trade 😉