You might not have thought about the importance of filling your coffee cup with Free Trade Certified java, but the decision you make about where to spend your money can have far-reaching consequences. Fair Trade is designed to allow farmers to support themselves without the need for foreign aid. Each time a consumer purchases a product with the Fair Trade logo they are supporting fair pricing for farmers, care for the environment, and positive community impacts in the areas those products are grown. Fair Trade allows the consumer to not only fill his coffee cup, but also to fight poverty around the globe.
More Than Just a Feel-Good Label
Few opportunities to donate to such a worthwhile cause exist today. A consumer who chooses Free Trade Certified products is helping improve the lives of the very people who grow the coffee we drink. How often do you think about what is in your coffee cup? Do you consider the lives of the farmers who, in many cases, exist on pennies a day because of the trading practices of large corporations? Free Trade gives the small farmer the ability to access world markets and receive a fair price for their coffee. This, in turn, allows the farmers to provide for their families and attain a better standard of living.
The second benefit of supporting Free Trade through your coffee cup is the fact that farmers are encouraged to use sustainable and organic farming techniques, which have a less detrimental impact on the environment. These practices help maintain biodiversity by protecting fragile ecosystems from the ravages of other farming practices that rely heavily on chemicals.
A third benefit of Free Trade is the social impact aspect. In areas where Free Trade cooperatives exist, money is available to help build schools and provide health care where neither existed before. Filling your coffee cup with products with the Free Trade certification means that indigenous peoples have been able to send their children to college. Those same children return to build vibrant communities that, in turn, send more children to college. How wonderful it is to be part of such a beautiful cycle.
Rather than being a single-mission idea, Free Trade transcends the traditional idea of aid by empowering the people it helps to support themselves. It not only provides an immediate financial support system, but also ensures continued support through sustainable farming, environmental protection and community impact. Now, doesn’t that make you feel a little bit better each time you fill your coffee cup?