Friday, May 16, 2008

Fair Trade Coffee

Sidney Williams over at Sid is Alive brought up the idea of sustainable Fair Trade / Fairtrade commodities like coffee, so today I just wanted to point out that Trader Joe's carries a wonderful "sweet, rich & bold" Organic Fair Trade Nicaraguan Medium Dark Roast. I purchased a 13-oz container of it recently for $6.99. It's as good as anything from Starbucks and competitively priced even vs. Wal-Mart. Trader Joe's is a grocery chain that treats its own employees fairly, too -- how often do you see people working at a grocery store who seem relatively happy on a consistent basis? Therefore, to me, it's a no brainer. I'll be getting most of my coffee from Trader Joe's, and none of it from Wal-Mart.

Trader Joe's may not be located in your area, but I'm sure there are other local alternatives. Here in Metro Detroit, they carry conventional American beer like Rolling Rock (from Pennsylvania) as well as choices from their own private label. It's not a "snobby" place by any means. It's just a good place to get groceries.

Today's Rune: Defense.


Sidney said...

I hoist my mug of Joe from Coffee Bean Direct to you.

the walking man said...

Its the bean Erik, Arabica or Robusto. Starbucks uses the harsher Robusto as their base coffee, cheaper and less refined than the Arabica.

Along with fair/free trade beans I like the pesticide free grown beans, not for my health but the health of them that pick it.

The pesticide burns the hands.


lulu said...

Starbucks uses Arabica beans. I worked for them for close to 8 years. I know. They do however roast the fuck out of their coffee, which many people find disagreeable taste-wise. (and I'm not sure why people are so down on the 'Buck, yes it is a huge company, but it is consistently rated highly in terms of employee benefits as well as ethical practices.)

With any kind of coffee you do run into the whole shipping issue. It came from Africa or South America or Indonesia, so it's carrying a pretty heavy carbon footprint. I'm not sure who moves coffee around the most efficiently as pretty much all of it is grown, shipped, and then bought.