October is Fair Trade Month, and my fellow food blogger Kimi already shared some Fair Trade goodies that she was sent to sample. She said her family is participating in Fair Trade Month because she wants her “purchases to reflect the value I place on fair prices for farmers and their communities.”

I’m right there with you Kimi. I’m happy to talk about Fair Trade and the importance of making sure that farm workers are paid a living wage and having decent working conditions and farmers are paid a fair price for their products. That’s the goal of Fair Trade.

When you purchase products that have the Fair Trade seal, you’re helping farmers and their workers fight poverty and improve their communities. You’re also helping the environment because the standards that need to be met to achieve Fair Trade certification include ones that help protect the ecosystems so that the generations to come can continue to farm the land. It's important to highlight this during Fair Trade Month, but it's even more important to be buying ethically sourced products all year round. It shouldn't be a once-a-year thing.

Like Kimi, I was sent some Fair Trade products to sample. My family gave them a try, and some were more to our tastes than others. Our two favorites were the coffee and hot chocolate we were sent.

Green Mountain Coffee Three Continent Blend – I am very particular about my coffee. This is some good stuff. It’s a medium roast blend of beans from Sumatra, South America, and Ethiopia. I’ve been drinking it every morning for a week now, and it will certainly go on my list of coffees sold at the grocery store that I’m willing to buy.

Lake Champlain Spicy Aztec Hot Chocolate – I tell my boys we’ve been sent some hot chocolate to try. They are, of course, happy about that. Then I tell them it has some cayenne in it. My 6th grader hasn’t touched it yet, but my 9th grader who eats hot peppers as a snack got right to making a cup. He loves it, and it’s become his morning drink now that the weather is chilly when he gets up for school. This hot chocolate mix is flavored with cinnamon, cayenne and vanilla to make it spicy-sweet. Looks like I’ll be buying more of this.

Take a look around the store next time you’re there and see what products carry the Fair Trade seal. Coffee, chocolate, spices, honey, bananas, flowers, tea, even beer and wine, can carry the seal.

What’s your favorite Fair Trade product?

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Robin Shreeves ( @rshreeves ) focuses on food from a family perspective from her home base in New Jersey.

October is Fair Trade Month, but being fair to farmers should be a year-round thing
My family is starting off the chilly fall mornings fairly with ethically sourced coffee and hot chocolate.