Thursday, May 15, 2008

Fair trade, good coffee

I've written a little bit in the past about our efforts to switch over to more fair trade products and Michele's recent posts on the subject got me thinking that it's time for an update from here.

I've succeeded in switching us over to fair trade coffee and yes, it's a bit more expensive. And, no, we don't like "a bit more expensive" any more than anyone else does.

But ...

disliking the price has tremendous value to me: it reminds me of how much work goes into creating my daily cups of coffee. And all that work should cost me something. It costs the people who grow and produce it, and therefore, it should cost me. When I moan and groan about having to take on another car payment to replace poor, old Putty, I need to be reminded that, in reality, globally, universally, spiritually speaking, I am a rich American.

And, really, it's not that it's that expensive. It's just more than the stuff I've been buying at the grocery store.

My current favorite is from Dean's Beans (I'm particularly fond of Mud Pie and French Vanilla Kiss) though I've also enjoyed the coffees from A Greater Gift.

I believe that finding out more about where the things I consume come from (and under what conditions they are produced) is integral to my faith and to the commitment of the Catholic Church to social justice.

And, thanks to my friend, Jean, I have a couple bars of fair trade chocolate waiting for me, too (I know you gave me at least five or six bars, Jean ... what can I say? Good stuff goes fast around here ....)

7 comments:

Maryan said...

Karen, If you're interested here's some more fair trade coffee to try! http://www.mysticmonkcoffee.com/shop/catalog/advanced_search_result.php?keywords=Fair+Trade&x=0&y=0

Karen E. said...

Thanks, Maryan! I forgot to mention them. We haven't tried them yet, but Atticus just mentioned them to me the other day!

Liz said...

We don't drink much coffee around here, but I have sought out fair trade chocolate at least part of the time recently (unfortunately I have yet to find any with the smooth texture of Dove (I'm not sure that our locally produced chocolates - Lake Champlain chocolates- are fair trade). What we've been buying recently where we do focus on the people producing the product is milk straight from the farm. I mean really straight from the farm, as in you buy it out of a refrigerator at the farm house and you have to shake the bottle before you pour because it's not homogenized (or pastuerized0. It's actually better than having a cow because we don't have to do the work. I will admit that after spending as much time weeding as I did last summer, I have a renewed appreciation of the work involved in gardening. I have never been able to view raspberries quite the same way every since I had to pick quart after quart of them from my mother's patch when I was in high school. We're trying to buy more local food, and yes it does cost more, but we figure we're keeping the money in the area instead of sending it off to the Walton's.

Karen E. said...

Liz, I tried to get us switched over to the same kind of milk from a local dairy but they were already beyond capacity and weren't taking any new customers on their delivery route. I was so disappointed (they delivered ... it was LESS expensive than the store ... and it was delicious. I'd tried it at a friend's house.)

Tim said...

Ahhhh, you're slipping into my realm, Karen.

I welcome you and, wow, wish you hope as you try to navigate the sticky waters like: Where do diamonds come from? Do I really need this strawberry from Chili? and, my fave, Holy Smokes, is EVERYTHING in Target made in China?

It's the right thing to do, yes, and congrats.

But, alas, the right thing is so often not the easiest.

sigh.

Karen E. said...

Yes, Tim, they *are* sticky waters ... I've been trying to navigate some of them for quite awhile and it is a challenge. Fortunately for me, I don't care about diamonds and don't wear them. :-) The China one is tough ... it is *so* hard to find things that aren't made in China. I've tried to give up buying some stuff because you can only find it China-made. Plastic toys for the kids come to mind ... we've tried to switch over on gifts and things to stuff that's more "consumable" but even then it's hard to avoid China-made.

We don't shop at WalMart anymore for a lot of reasons, and that's a challenge in a small town, too. And yes, I hear you on the fruit choices. Sigh.

Yeah, I'm with you on the sighs.

Posmena Sales said...

Here is a link for FairTrade Chocolate online:
- chocolate4you