|Fair Trade USA Certified Logo|
It is pretty important to us that the coffee we drink is grown in a sustainable way and that the people who grow it are paid a fair wage and have decent living conditions. There are a number of companies that work with this and try to assure this, but one simple way to know that the coffee, tea or chocolate you are eating or drinking meets these criteria is to look for the “Fair Trade USA” certification.
There are so many reasons to buy Fair Trade Certified products, that it can get overwhelming. Therefore, I’ve included here the reasons why Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc, states on their page that they support Fair Trade:
- At least 80% of humanity lives on less than $10 a day, and almost half — over three billion people — live on less than $2.50 a day. (Source: www.globalissues.org)
- Every year more than 10 million children die of hunger and preventable diseases — that’s over 30,000 per day and one every 3 seconds. (Source: 80 Million Lives, 2003 / Bread for the World / UNICEF / World Health Organization)
- If climate change trends continue as expected, by 2080, an additional 1.8 billion people could be living in regions where water supply is scarce, and the number of people affected by malnutrition could rise to 600 million. (Source: United Nations Development Programme, Human Development Report 2007/2008)
Buy why Fair Trade Certified in particular? Because Fair Trade Certified is not just about paying people money, but it is about enabling sustainable development and community empowerment. They do not just pay the workers well, they work with the entire community. They work with family farms, they teach about safe working conditions, they help workers to organize and they help children go to school instead of work the farms. Sometimes it’s hard for people in first world countries to really understand that young children working on farms and long hours for a bit of food is not just in our past, but is in our present. Fair Trade USA is a major non-profit that is working to make lives better all over the world.
When we buy products with their certification, we know that we are supporting the work they do the best way we can, by buying the products they produce and paying a fair amount for them.
But wait, this is supposed to be a review of Green Mountain Coffee. I’m a member of BzzAgent, and they offered to send me free bags of Green Mountain Coffee so that I’d try it and tell people how great it is. They were right. It is magnificent and I’m thrilled to tell you that not only is it yummy, delicious and a great way to start the morning, but it fits right in with my value system because the bags they sent us were Fair Trade Certified.
|Yummy Pumpkin Spice
Fair Trade Coffee
We tried the Fair Trade Pumpkin Spice and the Fair Trade Vermont Coffee Blend. Both are very smooth and yummy. The Pumpkin Spice is very sweet (or was that the vanilla soy milk and Splenda?) and has a nice spicy flavor that goes well with muffins and breakfast bars. The Vermont Coffee Blend was very smooth and almost had a chocolate-y taste to it. Since I only started drinking coffee about 2 years ago (when my youngest was born) I’ve been gradually developing a taste for it. I used to put Nesquik in my coffee, now I just use soy milk and Splenda. So when I run into a coffee whose smooth, rich taste reminds me of having chocolate in it, I’m in heaven!
I’ve been really pleased by all the places I’ve seen Green Mountain Coffee, but an important thing to realize is that if they don’t have the Fair Trade Certified symbol on the bag, it’s not actually Fair Trade. When asked recently why not all their coffee is Fair Trade they said:
We are committed to increasing our purchases of sustainably produced coffee, but we are also competing with many other companies who are not, so it’s a challenge. But the more people ask for and choose Fair Trade products, the more demand we can build for the certification and the more momentum we can build to help more farms become certified. – Winston Rost, Green Mountain Coffee Lab
|Fair Trade USA Certified Logo|
So next time you are buying coffee, ask for Fair Trade Certified or look for the label. As we buy more, more farms can afford to get the certification!
What is your favorite coffee? Tell us!