I usually stay away from pre-made gift baskets because there is always an item or two in the basket that is totally useless. Equal Exchange asked if they could send me one of their gift baskets to check out, and I’ve got to say, there isn’t one useless item in this basket.

The Equal Exchange Fair Trade Mixer basket is full of yummy, organic, fair trade treats. Not a one of them, including the basket, will be tossed in the trash a month after the basket is received. Here is what is in the basket:

• Organic French Roast Coffee - 10 oz, drip grind
• Organic Hot Cocoa Mix - 12 oz
• Organic Very Dark Chocolate - 3.5 oz bar
• Organic Dark Chocolate with Almonds - 3.5 oz bar
• Organic Milk Chocolate with a Hint of Hazelnut - 3.5 oz bar
• Organic Tamari Roasted Almonds - 5 oz
• Roasted Salted Pecans - 5 oz

The basket itself is a fairly traded kaisa grass basket imported by Ten Thousand Villages from Dhaka Handicrafts, a nonprofit that works to improve the lives of children and rural families in Bangladesh.

Equal Exchange works with small farmer organizations in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the United States. The small farmers are part of co-ops that govern themselves and are able to use the money made from selling their products fairly to better their lives and the lives of others in their communities.

My boys have already tested the hot cocoa and downed their mugs quickly. I broke open the milk chocolate bar with hazelnut and was going to have just a taste. Three quarters of the bar is gone already.

If you’re still looking for a gift for someone on your Christmas list, I recommend this gift basket. Hurry over to Equal Exchange where this basket is on sale right now for $47 (regularly $55). There are several other gift baskets to choose from also. Order by Dec. 15 to ensure delivery by Christmas.

If you have friends or family who are skeptical about the quality of organic or fair trade foods, the products in this basket would be a fabulous way to introduce them to the fact that organic and fair trade aren’t as good as conventional products — they are much better.  

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

A gift basket full of fairly traded yumminess
Coffee, chocolates, and nuts fill a basket that is sure to please those on your gift list.