Early on Memorial Day, enjoying a cup of coffee and vanilla soy milk.
Appreciating the fact that I can buy Fair Trade Certified™ Coffee in my local supermarket as well as at my local natural foods grocery. The $3 - $4 we spent on a cup of latte at the local bistro is equal to the amount a coffee farmer earns for the entire day.
Fair Trade is designed to help small-scale coffee farmers increase their incomes and improve the prospects of their communities and their families. It also offers consumers a way to channel their purchases into socially responsible products that support families who might not otherwise get a fair deal.
Coffee companies that import and roast Fair Trade coffee guarantee farmers a minimum "floor price" of $1.26 per pound. This can be as much as a three- or even four-fold increase in what some farmers might otherwise receive for their crop. This increase is possible because the Fair Trade system eliminates a number of middlemen where much of the profit goes in the open coffee market.
So go Fair Trade, better yet, go Fair Trade organic--before it's too late to tell whether certified organic is truly organic--but that's another story.