Friday, February 11, 2005

Fair-trade coffee

Knowing that coffee is one of the most pesticided food crop in the world, I have my a pact with myself that when I seek out its deliciously bitter warmth, that it must be fair-trade. That means living wages and Fair-trade tends to go hand-in-hand with organic growing methods. And shade-grown beans, when available, are preferred for the habitat support they provide for migratory birds -- the same ones that eat many of the insects that cause increases in pesticide use.

I take fair-trade coffee for granted here in Rhode Island and especially in Providence. Coffee Exchange roasts dozens of blends from coffee farmers that the owner has met and developed relationships with on past trips to their lands. Many of these farms are not certified organic or fair-trade, either because they are in the process of a transition or due to the often cost-prohibitive certification process for these standards. Many times these small farms or cooperatives can't even afford the pesticides that corporate-backed coffee plantations coat on the plants. So knowing the length that Coffee Exchange goes to in order to seek out sustainable and fair practices, I appreciate that my freshly brewed cup comes from sustainable farms that have developed face-to-face relationships with Coffee Exchange's owner. And I'm sure that the farmers appreciate the guaranteed customer they have in Coffee Exchange -- have you ever seen how packed the place gets whenever it's a sunny day! But if Coffee Exchange isn't your cup of tea, in Providence, you're still surrounded by New Harvest Coffee at AS220, Seven Stars, Olga's, Pastiche's, and White Electric, among many other eateries, and you'll find Brown's cafes and Hudson Street Market stocked with Equal Exchange.

But a summer in NYC dispelled my myth of a fair-trade world order (in fact, there's way too much supply of the fair-trade beans relative to the demand). It wasn't that you can't find freshly brewed fair-trade coffee in the city that never sleeps. There's Jack's in the West Village and Gorilla Coffee in Brooklyn and a health food store I found on the UES that always has Jim's Organic brewing. But no such luck in the neighborhood coffee shops. You really have to seek it out, and even in places where you might expect it, there's always fear of a bewildered glare if you ask the otherwise friendly person behind the counter. There's just a total lack of awareness. And I suppose that as long as people haven't a clue about fair-trade and aren't asked about it, it will remain bewildering jargon. ("Free-trade? Well isn't everything free-trade?")

I would be remiss not to point out that fair-trade availability at Starbucks and Whole Foods is making it an option known in wider and wider areas. Speaking of which, back in November, a Starbucks in Barrington, RI even had the fair-trade coffee listed as the blend of the day (it was out of exhausted desperation while on the East Bay Bike Path, though as far as corporations go they're not so bad)... but they had none left during my visit. Tired and irrational, I skipped out, irked by the chutzpah to stop brewing the fair trade coffee at noon(!). Don't despair though. As I grew more desperate for the caffeine boost, my biking buddy Stella agreed to stop at a random convenience store along the trail in Warren. They had a single cup's worth of coffee left in the pot. All I cared about at this point was that it was caffeine-laden. So imagine my surprise when the side of the cup said fair-trade. In summary, I [heart] RI.

17 Comments:

Blogger Kevin Jackson said...

Hey, great blog! Sounds like you need one cup coffee maker.

I love coffee and did a keyword search on one cup coffee maker and came up with your site. The association was close, anyway. Take care! Dave

10:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

nice blog enjoyed it :)

Keep up the excellent work! and i bookmarked u!

so cant wait for ur next post! :)

Thanks!!

4:20 PM  
Anonymous organic coffee said...

Got to love gourmet tea Just out seeing what people are interested in. Nothing like a fresh brew!

4:00 AM  
Blogger Infactahost.com said...

Hey, you have a great blog here! I'm definitely going to bookmark you!

I have a web site traffic generation site/blog. It pretty much covers web site traffic generation related stuff.

Come and check it out if you get time :-)

8:02 PM  
Anonymous day trading system said...

Hey Blogger. Nice blog. Check out my site day trading future. It's got lots of info on day trading future.

1:21 PM  
Anonymous day trading stock pick said...

Hey Blogger. Nice blog. Check out my site forex day trading. It's got lots of info on forex day trading.

11:44 PM  
Anonymous day trading said...

Nice blog, Blogger. Check out my site about emini trading at emini trading.

11:37 PM  
Anonymous day trading training said...

Hey Blogger. Nice blog. Check out my site day trading seminar. It's got lots of info on day trading seminar.

5:42 PM  
Anonymous emini trading system said...

Hey Blogger. Nice blog. You may want to check out emini trading system. It's got lots of info on emini trading system.

12:50 AM  
Anonymous learn daytrading said...

Hey Blogger. Nice blog. You may want to check out day trading training. It's got lots of info on day trading training.

3:42 PM  
Anonymous emini future said...

Hey Blogger. Nice blog. You may want to check out elliott wave. It's got lots of info on elliott wave.

2:14 PM  
Anonymous electronic day trading said...

Hey Blogger. Nice blog. You may want to check out daytrading system. It's got lots of info on daytrading system.

5:49 PM  
Anonymous online day trading said...

Nice blog, Blogger. There's an interesting site about electronic day trading at electronic day trading.

5:40 PM  
Anonymous emini education said...

Hey Blogger. Nice blog. You may want to check out day trading computer. It's got lots of info on day trading computer.

5:47 AM  
Anonymous day trading future said...

Hey Blogger. Nice blog. You may want to check out emini future trading. It's got lots of info on emini future trading.

2:34 AM  
Anonymous Trim International said...

I found a company that pays $10 - $50/hr for shopping the classifieds!



Work At Home $10 - $50/hr Easy part/full time work, no boss, no commute, no set hours, paid every 12 days..



I'm making over $500 a day with this company and will be happy to help you do the same.



Hurry postions are filling fast!

7:28 AM  
Blogger TradingCourses said...

A good read. Thaks for all the good info.

Regards,
Mini-DOW Futures Day Trader
electronic day trading
http://www.daytradingcourse.com

3:02 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home