I was surprised to learn that the second most highly traded commodity in the world is coffee (petroleum, of course, is number 1). This of course means that there is big money in growing and trading this valuable commodity. The problem is, much of the world’s coffee comes is produced by small family growers who are frequently taken advantage of by unscrupulous middlemen because the growers lack the resources and education to negotiate a fair price. Fair Trade coffee, however, guarantees farmers a minimum price, and links farmers directly with importers, creating long-term sustainability.
This is good news for the farmers but can result in products that are out of reach for budget conscious consumers. Because I believe the most effective vote for or against oppressive structures is in the dollar, I was pleasantly surprised to find a line of high quality yet affordable Fair Trade coffees at Trader Joe’s. Pictured above is coffee as it should be: Certified Fair Trade, organic, and brewed to perfection in my French press. You can learn more about Trader Joe’s coffees here: http://www.traderjoes.com/how-to/coffee.asp