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3.26.2012

Fair Trade Coffee: Goodness in Your Cup



I have decided to buy only fair trade certified coffee. This seems like a fairly simple way that I can incorporate a good decision into my daily routine.
Sometimes, when faced with decisions like this, I wonder if it's even worth it. Especially when it requires more time / money / effort for me. Does my decision to buy fair trade make a difference? Because if it doesn't, then why do it?

I thought about that thinking and I decided it's flawed. If I were the only one buying fair trade in the whole wide world, I think it still would be worth it. Because it's the right thing. And my purchase is my vote for the right thing.

I heard someone say that voting with your wallet is even more influential than voting in the ballot box, as important as that is. The reason, they said, is that politians on both sides listen to money. So, no matter who gets elected in the ballot box, if people stop buying [this] and start buying [that], the politicians will realize [that's] important.

But as consumers we're lazy. We're not willing to go without some things in order to have better things. Of course, most of us aren't even aware that slaves pick the cocoa beans or that coffee farmers are not paid fair wages so that the big guys can make a bigger profit.

But I do know now. And since I know, I want to vote for what's good and what's right.
When I buy groceries I am going to the polls. It is not a question of whether or not I will vote, the question is, when I buy my coffee, what am I going to vote for? Am I going to vote for a market system that exploits farmers, women and children? Or am I going to vote for an approach that helps communities escape poverty, creating long-term sustainability?

I choose to vote for a product that helps people instead of hurts them. And for me, that makes making the switch to fair trade certified coffee worth it.

Resources:
www.fairtradeusa.org
www.fairtradefederation.org
www.fairtradeforall.com


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