Natasha Wilson


364 Things – Buy Organic Fair-Trade Coffee
January 31, 2009, 19:26
Filed under: 365 Things

coffeeWhile we’re on the subject… purchasing organic, fair-trade, shade grown coffee is another way to score points – environmentally and ethically.  In 1999 it was reported that there were 108 million coffee consumers in the U.S. alone!  Coffee is traded as a commodity, and is second only to oil in commodity value.  In the import/export world, it’s liquid gold.

Why organic?

Organic coffee beans are grown and processed without the use of harsh chemicals or toxic pesticides.  When you buy organic coffee, you’re:

  • Supporting farmers who are committed to maintaining the long-term health of our planet
  • Helping preserve biodiversity

Why shade grown?

The best quality coffee comes from plants that grow slowly under the rainforest canopy.  As the demand for coffee increases, producers look for higher efficiency approaches.  Most of these approaches involve using nasty chemicals and pesticides, and promote the destruction of natural rainforest trees and undergrowth. When you buy shade grown coffee, you’re:

  • Preserving the habitat of birds, monkeys, tree frogs and other rainforest species
  • Saying “no!” to chemicals that contaminate the land, water and farm workers

Why fair-trade?

When you purchase fair-trade coffee, you’re:

  • Eliminating the middleman and providing coffee farmers with fair fixed prices, which support a reasonable standard of living (fair wages)
  • Ensuring communities benefit from fair-trade revenue (not corporations)
  • Encouraging growers to employ sustainable farming practices

Many coffee shops are now offering coffee that is shade-grown, fair-trade, and/or organic. If you don’t see it listed on the menu, ask ’em!

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3 Comments so far
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Thanks Natasha: I had wondered what all those terms meant. I need decaf too; one more set of labels to read very carefully.

Tea has similar issues, perhaps even worse. I should probably look for a healthier choice than my supermarket ‘Tetley’.

Wendy

Comment by Wendy

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write some material for your blog in exchange for a link back to mine.

Please shoot me an email if interested. Regards!

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