By Laurel Sterling Prisco MA, RD
October is National Fair-Trade Month. The term “fair trade” describes a system of commerce that promotes a sustainable environment, labor rights, a good wage, and healthy working conditions for laborers as well as their families and communities.
The fair-trade movement began with coffee, which has had a history of production comparable to sweatshops: long work days, unfair conditions, and other forms of employee exploitation. Here at Natur-Tyme, we now carry our own private-label certified-organic and certified fair-trade coffee from Tierra Farms. There are nine great new flavors available. I am not much of a coffee drinker, but I asked people in the store and some favorites included Hazelnut and Tierra Breakfast Blend. Stop in and try some Natur-Tyme brand coffee today!
Fair-trade chocolate companies specializing in organic chocolate ingredients are increasing more than ever. Good quality dark chocolate is something I personally have on a regular basis! I am always searching for and trying out new brands and flavors, and I especially like supporting the fair-trade movement. Some favorites of mine include: Dagoba Organic Eclipse 87%, Endangered Species (Extreme Dark Chocolate 88%, Cranberries and Almonds 72%), Green & Black’s Dark 85%, and Newman’s Organics Peanut Butter Cup and Peppermint Cup. All of these are my daughter’s favorites as well!
There are also health and beauty products available that are fair-trade. Alaffia is a fair-trade skincare line that we carry. It was founded through the fair-trade of shea butter in West Africa by Olowo-n’djo Tchala and his wife Rose Hyde. The founder was a native to Togo, and he believes that “Africans can mobilize our natural resources in a sustainable manner to empower our own communities and reduce poverty and gender inequality.” One of my favorite products from Alaffia is their Shea Butter Vanilla Almond Body Milk. It feels wonderful on the skin and smells so yummy!!
Be sure to start looking for the fair-trade symbol on products you purchase. You can also find fair-trade teas and spices. Let’s continue to support these wonderful companies!