This month is Fair Trade Month, and I'm participating because I want my purchases to reflect the value I place on fair prices for farmers and their communities. In light of that, I was sent a great box of samples from Fair Trade USA to try out.

Before we get to those items, here are a few of the benefits of buying Fair Trade from Fair Trade USA:

Who does Fair Trade benefit? Fair Trade benefits more than 1.2 million farmers and workers around the world. It also:

  • Protects the planet by ensuring that farmers follow internationally monitored environmental standards, while providing financial incentives and resources for organic conversion, reforestation, water conservation and environmental education.
  • Builds sustainable businesses by supporting training for rural farmers and allowing them to deal directly with market buyers. Farmers receive fair trade premiums for the products they supply, and continually reinvest portions of their revenue. This means farming cooperatives are constantly building their capacities and becoming truly empowered to create change in their communities.
  • Empowers women to play an active role in their families and in their co-ops by starting businesses with guaranteed access to health care, certain job rights and freedom from harassment.
  • Supports education with revenues set aside to build schools and maintain enrollment.
And if you want more incentive, just check out these delicious items! Coffee, tea and cocoa products are all important to buy fair trade, and they also happen to be some of my favorite things in the food world.

Chocolate is every woman’s (and man’s) best friend. I seriously love it, but I do try to buy fair trade chocolate. These two brands that are great examples of quality and fair buying practices: Alter Eco Chocolate is sourced from small farmers in the Peruvian, Amazon and Ecuadorian Coast. This specific bar has crunchy quinoa in it, which is delightful. These amazing Guittard baking bars are great for eating or baking.

Coffee: I like mine organic and fair trade. I go with organic because coffee can be heavily sprayed, and I like whole beans (to avoid ground up bugs); and I like fair trade to ensure my cup isn’t bought at the expense of others. These two brands, Mr. Espresso and One Village Coffee, fit the bill, and also happen to be delicious.

Tea: I hadn’t heard as much about tea and it needing to be fair trade, but it makes sense that tea farmers would also need to fight for fair prices. Fair Trade USA had this to say: “Fair Trade Certified tea comes from both cooperatives and from large farms. Fair Trade helps tea farmers and workers gain access to capital, set fair prices for their products, and make democratic decisions about how to best improve their business, their community and their tea.”

Two companies that sell fair trade tea are Rishi and Numi, and both are full bodied, well flavored, gourmet teas. I have personally loved Numi for a long time, and the Rishi teas have been delightful to try as well. The Honest Tea beverage is soon to be sent in my husband's lunch, and I'm sure he will enjoy it.

And finally, what about body products? Personal care products can have cocoa butter, shea butter, and other ingredients that also should be fair trade to ensure that workers in other countries are being paid their full wages. I’ve been enjoying the above Eco Lips One World Lip balm, which is fair trade.

As you can see, fair trade products are a delicious and delightful thing to experience.

Thanks to Fair Trade USA for the samples! I'm looking forward to finishing them up, and shopping with my new prAna fair trade shopping bag.

Fair Trade chocolate, tea, coffee and more
October is Fair Trade month! I am celebrating with the following products.