Lifestyle | Why You Should Drink Fair Trade + Organic Coffee

Happy National Coffee Day! 

Coffee is something that’s ubiquitous in nearly every household, cafe and eatery around the world. Besides being the best part of the morning (just me?) it’s effects are far-reaching, impacting communities and the environment — not just our morning buzz.

When we stop and think about the term “Fair Trade”, the words alone make it obvious to me as to why this is important. Being compensated fairly for your work and treated as an equal human being is a simple concept that even a little kid could understand — I would know, because the term “fairness” was recently explained very clearly to me by five year olds kids in a yoga class.  Despite that, there are many coffee farmers worldwide who are not treated equally and paid less than they deserve. Here’s an excerpt from a past post, How to Green-Up Your Morning Cup

Many coffee growers live in poverty and are easily taken advantage of by buyers who pay less than what they deserve. Fair Trade ensures that these small-scale, family-owned farms are connected directly to importers who pay fairly and allow them to sustainably grow their businesses.

Coffee Farmers-4

By that same token, USDA Organic coffee protects those growers and the environment from being damaged by toxic chemicals, pesticides and incesticides that might also contaminate nearby waterways. Plus, coffee crops are grown in the shade, the way these plants prefer to grow, which limits deforestation and keeps things natural.

All that in just one cup.

So, with that in mind it’s important to support coffee companies who are doing their part. Many are even working to take this a step further and support projects and initiatives within the farming community to make their sustainability efforts last for the long run.

Here are some great ethical coffee companies to help you celebrate the holiday!

  1. Chameleon Cold Brew Coffee – This is a brand that’s been doing work! With their motto, “true quality that’s rooted in compassion” is one that I’m proud to support. Other than guzzling their delicious cold brew (check ’em out at our Fall Equinox Yoga + Hike event, here!) I was excited to discover their limited edition Whiskey Barrel Aged Whole Bean Coffee from micro-lots in Myanmar. Aside from being a solid cup of coffee, they give 100% of those proceeds back to the community for organic-based projects. You can enter to win a month’s worth of cold brew coffee and CCB swag on their instagram account,  @chameleoncoldbrew!AKK02844
  2. Trader Joe’s Shade Grown Ethiopian Coffee – I’m totally a regular at my local Trader Joe’s and was thrilled to find that within their large selection of java they sold Fair Trade, Organic and shade grown coffee. As a consumer, I was so relieved to find coffee that was clearly labeled to reflect the values and ethics behind the product — not to mention make it easier for me to choose! And, surprise, I now buy that one.
  3.  Allegro Coffee – This Whole Foods staple is an ethically-sourced and grown coffee that you can easily find in most stores. Plus, for a conscious product it’s just under $9 for a bag which is pretty affordable considering that companies have to pay premiums and fees to ensure this standard. Next time give their Breakfast Blend try.Coffee Fruit6
  4.  Stumptown Coffee – Ignore the fact that it’s so far down on this list, Stumptown was my first coffee love and continues to be one of my favorite to this day. For a while I stopped purchasing whole bags of their coffee at home thinking they weren’t ethically-sourced beans and would just stop in for a cup here and there. Thankfully, I discovered that they are committed to growing sustainable crops and invest in their producers’ community and fare wages. To me, it goes to show how important it is for a brand to clearly communicate this to its consumers, so there’s still room to grow.
  5. Green Mountain Coffee – There are lots of fancy coffee roasters out there but there’s nothing like good ol’ Green Mountain. I’ve got a sweet spot for this one because of a) the coffee and b) their commitment to sustainability and social initiatives. Brew yourself a mug full of this Fair Trade certified coffee at home or on the go!



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Green living and lifestyle writer. Blogger at The Basic Goods. People person.

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