Tuesday, October 2, 2007

More than just fairly Fair Trade

Local roasters Just Coffee have been popping onto my radar a lot lately, which is funny because I'm not a coffee drinker. But between their Adopt-A-Box program, use of a tricycle to make deliveries and now their first annual Deep Fair Trade Month, it's hard not to take notice.

What is Deep Fair Trade Month?

It is time to once again ask more of "consumers". Instead of just looking for a label, we should look at the company behind the label. If the coffee roaster you are buying from is not a 100% FT company, ask them "why not?". If they talk about sustainability, but have invented their own system with no transparency to back up their claims, ask them for proof (and please don't let them tell you that "the proof is in the cup"). Go beyond coffee and look for other fair trade items like sugar, tea, wine, clothing, etc. Fair trade also means supporting local businesses and farmers. Buy food at your farmers market. Go to your corner store instead of the big box store. Switch to a local credit union and away from the international banks. It is possible to take back your local economy and keep more of your community's wealth in your own town.
There are a number of businesses around Madison and Wisconsin who follow a pretty strict Fair Trade model. JC is just one of the many, and for caffeine heads, it's a great place to start and to learn more about why Fair Trade is so awesome. Not only is the "proof in the cup," it's in their whole system.

Me? I'll be going to the screening of "Black Gold" at the Barrymore Theatre on Oct. 24. I may not drink coffee, but it's certainly worth learning about something that so many people do enjoy and that so many big businesses have been built on.

And just FYI, other Madison-area businesses with a Fair Trade ethos are:

No comments:

The Lost Albatross