I am a firm believer in Fair Trade. It combats modern-day slavery including child slavery. The products are generally healthier and production is environmentally friendly.
And I still get overwhelmed sometimes. How do I know which flavors to get? How do I keep are grocery expenses at a minimum while still purchasing Fair Trade products? Which brand should we try?
Manufacturers and stores rely on us shopping the way we have always shopped, buying the brands we have always bought. Most of the time we do not really know why we buy the brands we do. Switching to Fair Trade changes our thinking and changes a habit we have spent years building.
So to avoid getting too overwhelmed, let’s break it down a bit. Start with one or two items in your pantry to switch to Fair Trade. I suggest coffee and chocolate. Once you form a new habit, switch another item or two to Fair Trade. These items are not completely necessary for us to live, and they make a
Why Coffee & Chocolate?
Americans are some of the highest consumers of coffee and chocolate. We have to import the majority of our coffee and chocolate. This means we have to depend on other countries for our supplies. Large companies are not paying these farmers enough to feed their families and make a living. The only way large companies will start paying farmers fair wages is if they see a significant drop in their bottom-line.
The Fair Trade symbol ensures the farmer receives a guaranteed minimum price for their produce, working conditions are safe and ethical, no labor is provided by children, and farmers/workers have a say in how their farms are being run.
Coffee and chocolate are both readily available as Fair Trade items. You have the best bet finding them. Also coffee and chocolate are not necessary for life, despite popular opinion.
For a guide on some of the best Fair Trade companies, check out the Ethical Shopping Guide on The Art of Simple. They have done a lot of the research for you. I have also made a list of my 4 favorite Fair Trade brands.
While buying and eating fair trade chocolate bars was easy enough, eliminating every trace of big-brand chocolate from our pantry proved a lot more challenging. From the chocolate chunks in our granola bars to baking chips to hot chocolate mix, I found the stuff everywhere, and alternatives were expensive and hard to come by. But knowing what I did about the modern-day slave trade, I could’t just shrug it off, not anymore. – Rachel Held Evans A Year of Biblical Womanhood [affiliate link]
What Fair Trade items have you purchased? What brands are your favorite?