Sustainability is not just a passing concern, but an ideal that everyone should be striving toward.
Your own sustainability efforts can begin right in your cup of coffee, especially if you choose fair trade ingredients. Under fair trade arrangements, the relationships built between coffee roasters and farmers in coffee-producing countries can be beneficial and remain transparent at all times.
When these farmers trade or sell their fair trade goods, they receive proper pay for their products. When farmers aren’t strong-armed into accepting inadequate compensation for their crops, they can afford to feed their families, keep a roof over their heads, take better care of themselves and buy treatments to keep their crops free from pests or bacteria.
If you want to make the switch to 100% fair trade resources for your coffee, here are 15 places to pick up the ingredients you need to top off a great cup.
Tate + Lyle
Founded all the way back in 1878, the UK’s Tate + Lyle became a fair trade sugar producer in 2008. Since then, it’s helped benefit more than 20,000 small cane sugar farmers across four countries. Choose from natural pure cane sugar, organic turbinado raw cane sugar or organic pure cane sugar.
Plantation Reserve through the West Indies Sugar Company
Directly from Barbados comes the West Indies Sugar Company branch Plantation Reserve. “The island’s distinctive coral soils, gentle trade winds and a combination of beautiful sunshine and cooling rains create the perfect conditions for growing the world’s finest cane sugar,” the site writes.
According to the company, all of its sugar is “highly ethical & socially responsible” and can be used for baking or to add sweetness to your cup of coffee.
Appropriately based in Sugar Land, Texas, Wholesome! foods are just that. Its sugars are organic, fair trade and numerous — you’ll find cane sugar, coconut palm sugar, light brown sugar, dark brown sugar, turbinado sugar, sucanat and powdered sugar.
Bavaria’s Rapunzel has produced organic foods since 1984. The company started the Hand in Hand Project in 1987, which ensures that Rapunzel and its 14 partners produce the most sustainable quality products. Organic cane sugar from Brazil’s sugar mill called the Planeta Verde is good for you and good for the world around you.
Non-governmental organization Traidcraft near London is one of the biggest fair trade resources in the UK. Founded in 1979, it has fair trade jewelry, toys, paper, clothes, household items, homewares and food. It also has a wide variety of fair trade sugars online, including white granulated sugar, dark Muscovado sugar, golden caster sugar, raw cane sugar and Demerara sugar.
scoop of sugar
Perhaps best known for its yogurt, Stonyfield Organic also produces cream and milk. In 2014, the company created the Farmer Training Program at a farm near its Maine, USA, headquarters to ensure that all of its ingredients and products are environmentally friendly.
So Delicious products are dairy-free, making them the perfect choice for vegans or conscious coffee drinkers. “Our business philosophy is based on a firm commitment to treating everyone and everything — our environment, animals, each other, our partners, and our community — with unwavering respect,” the company explains.
“That commitment affects everything we do, including how we source ingredients, how we manufacture products, the impact we leave on the natural world, and the partnerships we form to keep pushing ourselves forward.”
Created in 1995, Natural Value seeks to make sustainable, healthy and fair trade products more widespread and affordable for everyone. Its coconut milk is a great choice for your morning cup of coffee, as it excludes any guar gum, stabilizers, additives or GMOs. The ingredients list consists of only water and coconut and is gluten-free, vegan, organic and certified fair trade.
Those in the US can use the Organic Valley website to search for farmers who produce organic and fair trade dairy products. The company supports CROPP Cooperative, which was founded in 1988 to push for more organic farming. Stock up on half and half, buttermilk, whole milk and the brand’s grassmilk, which is full of calcium and omega-3s.
Aurora Organic in Colorado, USA, supports more than 100 independent farmers in the country. The company is so responsible that it received Validus’ Animal Welfare certification for cow care. You can feel good choosing this brand of milk when you home-brew your coffee.
With stores across the US and an online shop, there are plenty of ways to get scrumptious chocolates from San Francisco-based Alter Eco. If you decide to treat yourself and flavor your coffee with cocoa, the company’s nine co-ops ensure that 24,338 farmers are justly compensated for their products, leading to $1,457,271 worth of farm financing.
Shaman Organic Chocolates
Created to preserve the lives of central Mexico’s indigenous tribe the Huichol Indians, Shaman Organic Chocolates are all GMO-free, fair trade and organic. Adding some of this chocolate to your coffee is not only a guilt-free experience, but you’re also giving back by indulging in candy. How often does that happen?
DAGOBA Organic Chocolate
All cacao that goes into chocolates made by DAGOBA Organic Chocolate is certified by the Rainforest Alliance. The cacao is sourced from farmers in a co-op in Tanzania, the Finca Elvesia farm in the Dominican Republic and the San Juan de Cheni farm in Peru. The flavors of your chocolate can differ depending on its place of origin:
Tanzania — “Special fermentation practices result in a rich bouquet of berry flavors with notes of leather, fig and plum.”
The Dominican Republic — “Fermentation and roasting develops a balanced flavor blend of nuts, wild cherry, oak and tannin.”
Peru — “Cacao from this region carries a complex blend of fruit, rose and wine flavors.”
Green & Black’s
Next time you want a dash of sweetness in your coffee, skip the sugar and try organic chocolate from Green & Black’s. “Our farmers grow their beans under the shade of rainforest trees alongside other crops like avocado, pineapple, coffee and bananas; such natural biodiversity helps safeguard our cocoa against disease,” the company explains. There are 11 total varieties of chocolate to choose from.
In Ottawa, Canada, the La Siembra co-op runs Camino. The company is responsible for teaming up with Fairtrade Canada, which pushes for certifications for products in the country. Try chocolate bars in such yummy flavors as espresso, orange, mint, caramel crunch, raspberries or coconut. You can also buy coffee here.