Here in World Next Door land, we love our coffee: a cup (or three) in the morning to start the day off right, gathering with friends for a good chat and a warm mug of java anytime, lingering over that last cup of decaf after dessert. But one thing we love even more than that jolt of caffeine that makes mornings bearable is knowing that our consumption is helping, not hurting, the little guy.
Drinking fair trade coffee does just that. Today I stumbled across this article posted on the citizen journalism site www.examiner.com. Brenna Coleman looks at how buying fairly trade coffee makes a difference, touches on the history of the fair trade coffee movement, and throws out a few general interest coffee facts. Did you know, for instance, that only about one in five cups of coffee are fairly traded? I didn't, but Coleman claims that only 20% of coffee beans are fair trade. But--here's the good part--consumers drive the coffee industry, so our demands can make a difference.
Start small--come by our store and pick up a bag of Equal Exchange or Land of a Thousand Hills coffee. These coffee companies work with local farmers to ensure that the folks who grow the beans are paid an equitable price for their labor. They promote sustainable agriculture and are working to build healthy, growing economies in the countries where they operate.
So get on board. In the words of Land of a Thousand Hills: "Drink coffee. Do good."