Brooding On

What's All The Fuss About Fair Trade?

As we learn more and more about how important it is for our environment and our health that we consume more local foods, there are certain food areas that are pushed to the forefront.  For example, must my family give up bananas?  We certainly can't purchase locally-produced ones.  What about coffee?  I really, really don't want to do without my coffee, but I also don't think I'd have much success with cultivating it in my own backyard.  Luckily, there's Free Trade certification to free us of our coffee-consumption guilt.  A more selfless way to consume is as easy as looking for that little label on your next trip to the grocery store. 

According to Fair Trade USA, 5 million men, women, and children in developing countries benefit from the sale of Fair Trade products.  "An item that is Fair Trade certified is produced in a socially and environmentally responsible way:  No children are employed, the environment isn't threatened, the working conditions are safe, and the labor force is justly compensated."  That all sounds pretty good, huh?

So, at the store, look for the Fair Trade certification seal on your coffee, tea, cocoa, spices, honey, and wine.  For a list of brands and products that are Fair Trade certified, visit  If your family is a Keurig family, like ours, check out this list of Keurig coffees that are Fair Trade certified (whew!! Wild Mountain Blueberry made the list!  That's a relief.  I really wouldn't want to give that one up!)
Thank you to Real Simple's October issue for the above statistic and definition of Fair Trade.