if you want to avoid shopping with irresponsible companies...
Coffee is the number two import in the US, right behind oil. Since we buy so much coffee, our purchasing decisions matter a great deal. Fortunately, you can have your cup of joe and support workers and the environment. Just make sure to purchase fair trade, organic and bird-friendly coffee. You’ll get high-quality java and ensure that your purchase will help coffee growing communities worldwide.
Buy Fair Trade Certified™ Coffee
Fair Trade coffee importers pay farmers a living wage for their harvest. In a fluctuating coffee market where farmers can be paid as little as 25 cents per pound for coffee, Fair Trade Certified™ coffee ensures that farmers were paid a wage that allows them to care for their families and create schools and social services in their communities. The TransFair “Fair Trade Certified” logo indicates that importers paid farmers a living wage of at least $1.31 per pound and independent mointors ensure that coffee farms adhere to Fair Trade principles.
Buy Certified Organic
Most coffee is grown in a way that damages the environment and harms fragile animal habitats. Organic coffee farmers avoid the use of toxic pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers, making their beans healthier for you, the environment, and the farmers.
Shade-Grown or Bird-Friendly
Buying coffee labeled with the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center's “bird-friendly” label means the trees on the farms are left intact to hold down topsoil, provide habitat for birds, and keep farmland sustainable for future generations.
To find coffees that are fair trade certified and environmentally friendly, go to Green America’s Fair Trade Directory . Fair trade and environmentally-friendly coffees are also increasingly available at mainstream grocery stores.
To find out more about fair trade products (including coffee), go to Green America’s Fair Trade products website.
If you can't find Fair Trade or environmentally friendly coffee
If you are purchasing coffee at a coffee shop or grocery store that does not carry fair trade or environmentally friendly coffee, make sure to let the store manager know that you’d like them to carry coffees that are good for people and the planet. Contact Green America’s Fair Trade Program and we’ll give you a postcard that you can pass on to the store manager asking them to carry Fair Trade. Make sure to tell them they’ll get your business if they do. And when you are buying from a coffee shop, don't forget to bring your own mug!