What if the delicious cup of coffee you enjoy each day could help build a health clinic in Africa?
What if the box of chocolate you give to your wife could help children in South America to read?
What if the sugar you use to make cookies with your kids could ensure farmers in the Philippines have the supplies they need?
Klout Perks Fair Trade USA products
October is Fair Trade Month and I recently received a box of Fair Trade USA goodies in the mail via a Klout Perk. I really appreciate the opportunity to blog about fair trade goods. They offer those of us in the developed world a chance to make a difference in disadvantaged communities far away.
When you go to the grocery store, look for the Free Trade logo. When you see it, you’ll know that the product comes from farmers and workers who:
- Receive fair prices and wages
- Work in safe conditions
- Protect the environment
- Receive community development funds to empower and improve their communities.
- Fair Trade Bananas Sticker
- Fair Trade Bananas
Check out the long list of fair trade products and partners. When you buy these clothes, linens, herbs, nuts, teas, body care products, beans, grains and more every purchase you make will really matter. Did you know you can even buy fair trade wine? And, fair trade bananas are a big deal.
A part of me always wanted to be a missionary. While these days, I feel very removed from that possibility, I like the idea of being able to make a difference as I go about my modern life. I spent part of the Summer of 1988 building a school and planting cacao in Belize. I always thought I’d return, and even though I haven’t been able to do so yet, it still holds a special place in my heart.
Fair Trade USA gives me the opportunity to help sugar cane farmers in Belize. Check out the long list of companies that use “fair trade sugar” in their products. Ben and Jerry’s, Avon and SunRidge Farms are just a few on the list.
According to the Klout Code of Ethics, I was given the following products and/or samples because I’m a “Klout influencer.” Click What is Klout? to learn more. I was under no obligation to receive these products or talk about the partnership between Klout and Fair Trade USA. I get no additional benefits for sharing this post on social networks.
Brewing a cup of Guayusa Tea from Ecuador
Guayusa Mint Tea from Ecuador | A Fair Trade Tea
Allegro Whole Coffee Beans
Alter Eco Mini Dark Noir (chocolate bar)
Choice Organic Teas Roobios
Coco Cafe Cafe Latte with Coconut Water and Espresso
Honest Tea Half and Half Organic Tea with Lemonade
Lärabar Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough food bar
Near East Quinoa Blend Rosemary and Olive Oil
Stash Tea Guayusa Tea with Mint
Three Twins Ice Cream coupon for a free pint
I have tried most of the products and they have all been excellent so far, especially the Guayusa tea with mint, a product of Ecuadoran hands. It far-exceeded the brand of mint tea I normally buy. The coffee was also terrific!
The best part about receiving this perk from Klout is that I now have a greater understanding of what is fair trade. And, I know that the trade-off in buying fair trade stuff versus products that might cost less is a clear conscience. That seems like more than a fair trade to me.
During my research for this post, I came across a news article about the real horror of Halloween. Did you know about 35 percent of world’s cocoa comes from West Africa’s Ivory Coast, where more than 100,000 children are victims of child labor? They’re subjected to beatings, long hours, dangerous work implements and pesticide exposure? These facts turn sweet chocolate awfully bitter and make me more determined to be aware of what exactly it is I’m buying and more importantly, the hands that made it.
I even taught my kids about the fair trade sticker so they can be on the look out for it when we go to the store. When I tell them what some children go through so that we can have chocolate, I know they will become some of the best fair trade advocates in the world.
If you’re interested in leveling the playing field for farmers in disadvantages communities, you can take the Fair Trade Pledge like I did.
Update: Klout Perks is no more.