Buy why would I care about the Fair Trade seal?
Coffee, like oil, gold, or pork bellies is traded as a commodity and is second only to oil in commodity value. It is also expensive for several factors and it is not only because someone wants to make a fast buck at the local coffee shops. The folks who also wants some good ole cash are the middlemen—processors, roasters, exporters, commodity brokers, retailers, etc and this decreases the share that the coffee grower receives.
Fair trade organizations work directly with cooperatives of small farmers to eliminate much of the middleman costs and provide the growers with a stable price that help to guarantee a reasonable standard of living. Many fair trade organizations also encourage their growers to employ sustainable farming practices which is important to everyone.
So, besides looking for the seal on a bag of coffee at your local grocery store, there are some coffee shops who carry fair-trade coffee. These include Starbuck’s, Green Mountain and Dunkin Donuts (fair-trade espresso products). I can bet there are some local coffee shops near you that also carry fair trade so be sure to ask.
You can also buy fair trade coffee online from companies such as Jim’s Organic Coffee, Eqaual Exchange and Green Mountain Coffee. I frequently buy Newman’s Own or Green Mountain at Stop & Shop. Yes, you can ever find some for your Keurig.
*photo coutesty of fibrasteel