I love coffee so I thought it might be time for an entry on how to obtain a more eco cup of Joe. Not only that, but I only buy Starbuck’s, which I’ve heard rumors might be bad, but honestly I have no idea, it just doesn’t seem right.
What I want to accomplish with this entry is find a coffee that is manufactured and distributed by a Fair Trade company [Fair trade is a trading partnership, based on dialogue, transparency and respect, which seeks greater equity in international trade. It contributes to sustainable development by offering better trading conditions to, and securing the rights of, marginalized producers and workers – especially in the South. Fair trade organizations (backed by consumers) are engaged actively in supporting producers, awareness raising and in campaigning for changes in the rules and practice of conventional international trade.], that it is organic [Organic farming is a form of agriculture which excludes the use of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, plant growth regulators, livestock feed additives, and genetically modified organisms.], and the closest one to where I live so I have the smallest carbon footprint [a “measure of the impact human activities have on the environment in terms of the amount of green house gases produced, measured in units of carbon dioxide”.] I can.
I will put some links of organic, fair trade coffee companies. Out of all these coffees I have only tried Green Mountain and I must say I didn’t love it, but I only tried French Roast [my personal favorite roast] in bulk and only once. Who knows maybe the store filled the bin with another brand, a bad batch, or maybe I’ll like another of their roasts. I am willing to try again, as they seem like such a good company on the whole and they are right next door to me in Vermont. I will try to review all these coffee companies and update this entry as I do.
List of Some Organic, Free Trade Coffee Companies
- Vermont Green Mountain Coffee Roasters [Since 1981, they have been roasting the finest Arabica beans from coffee-growing communities around the world, creating award-winning blends that inspire and delight the senses. Their goal is to provide you with an extraordinary coffee experience that’s environmentally sound, socially just, and undeniably delicious.] They also are the roasters for Newman’s Own Organic Coffee.
- Alter Eco Fair Trade [They offer Fair Trade Certified coffee, tea, sugar, rice]
- Eco Java [All of their “Roasted to order” coffee beans are Bolivian, organic, Fair Trade, and have no defects. Their coffee beans are single-locality (terroir), 100% Arabica (Tipica 80%, Caturra 20%), shade grown in the higher altitudes of the Caranavi region, washed using pure Andes glacier-melt water, sun-dried on wooden table tops and hand selected by “Palliris” (Aymara Indian women food graders).]
- EcoCoffee [All their coffees are sourced from ethically trading and environmentally responsible producers. A premium price is paid to the farmers, who must comply with welfare and eco friendly standards. All coffee is single origin (bar one premium blend of three) and the origin and producer is always clearly identified. We supply only 100% arabica beans, usually shade grown, many certified organic. You will even know the day on which it was roasted (227g packs).]
- Grounds for Change [a family owned and operated coffee roasting business located in the Pacific Northwest. They roast our 100% Fair Trade, Organic coffee in small batches to ensure that you receive the freshest coffee possible. All of their coffee is Fair Trade Certified by TransFair USA and their Organic Certification meets the stringent Organic Processor Standards enforced by the United States Federal Government and the Washington State Department of Agriculture. The vast majority of the coffee they sell is also Shade Grown Coffee which ensures healthy habitat for migratory birds.]
- Last but not least, Dean’s Beans I think this company seams super serious in a good way.
All Organic and Kosher – Respect for the Quality of Life
All of our fine whole bean specialty coffees are certified organic, kosher coffees, and are roasted in small batches at our beanery in Orange, MA. We know that the planting, care, harvesting and processing of the beans is done in conformity with international standards for the health of the farmer and his environment, as well as the high quality of the bean. The vast use of pesticides in coffee production has serious impact on the ecology of the coffee-growing world and the health of farm communities. Our commitment to only purchase shade grown coffees supports healthy environments for coffee growers and protects critical migratory bird habitat. It is important to us that the quality of our coffees includes respect for the quality of life of our southern partners in the coffee world. And that respect translates into superb tasting coffee for your pleasure.
How a Great Cup of Coffee Makes the World a Better Place
Besides only roasting organic coffees, Dean’s Beans® only purchases beans from villages and importers that are committed to Fair Trade and working towards better economic opportunity, improved health and nutrition in the villages. We promote local empowerment and self-reliance through our Fair Trade purchases and our work with local grassroots development and human rights groups. We also sponsor projects here at home with disenfranchised communities such as Native Americans, the homeless and disabled, and many other groups trying to improve their lives and that of their communities. Every cup you drink and every pound you buy contributes directly to the welfare of coffee growers and consumers.
We only purchase beans from small farmers and cooperatives, largely made up of indigenous peoples working hard to maintain their culture and lifestyles in a hostile world. We do not buy beans from large estates and farms. We’ve been there, and have seen the conditions of chronic poverty and malnutrition within which these farms produce those other coffees. Look in your kitchen – do you know where your beans come from?
Dean’s Beans® represents a fully integrated progressive coffee trade system.
Each player in our cycle of production and distribution, from the farmer to the consumer, participates in socially just and environmentally responsible trade. We hope that all other coffee companies will follow our lead.
We are proud to be a founding member of Cooperative Coffees, Inc., the first roaster’s cooperative created to buy direct, Fair Trade coffee from farmer coops, and make it available to any small roaster who wants to participate in the Fair Trade movement. We are also active members of the Fair Trade Federation, an international organization of dedicated Fair Traders (no poseurs allowed).
A few coffee facts from EcoCoffee,
* Coffee is the second-most traded commodity in the world economy, after oil.
* The global coffee industry is worth $60 billion annually.
* Some coffee farmers earn as little as 10 cents a kilo for the coffee they pick by hand.
* Most of the world’s coffee is grown by small-scale coffee farming families.
* 25 million families around the world work in the coffee-fields and totally depend on the coffee crop as their only source of income.
According to the Green Mountain Coffee [GMC] company, every year, Americans drink more than 100 billion cups of coffee. Of those, 14.4 billion are served in disposable paper cups— enough to wrap the earth 55 times if placed end-to-end! Those paper cups contain a plastic lining made from a petrochemical that would produce enough energy to heat 8,300 homes. That’s a town the size of Newtown, Connecticut.
What Green Mountain Coffee is doing to combat this situation is work with International Paper to develop a new cup that uses renewable resources and make less of an environmental impact. What they came up with is the ecotainer™ cup, an eco-friendly cup designed for hot stuff. It uses a lining made from corn instead of petrochemicals. I love corn.
Their philosophy on cups is the same philosophy throughout Green Mountain Coffee.
Another cup option I found is Eco-Friendly Coffee Mug. These mugs are made from 100% U.S. grown corn. Completely heat stable, hand wash only and reuse over and over. I’m getting one just to smell it. I am so curious. I don’t love the design from the image, but I will not judge until I see it in real time…
Eating a plant-based diet guards against disease: first in an active way with complex carbohydrates, phytochemicals, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Then by default: the more plant foods you eat, the less room you have for animal foods that clog arteries with cholesterol, strain kidneys with excess protein, and burden the heart with saturated fat. Clinical studies have shown that meat-free diets reverse diabetic symptoms and reduce cholesterol levels by about as much as the use of cholesterol-lowering drugs.