Coffee is a dirty industry. But on a Monday morning when we’re reaching for our morning brew, I’m sure the last thing on our minds is: where did my coffee come from? Who harvested the beans? What kind of chemicals does it contain? But these are questions we need to be asking.
Coffee is a massive asset, especially in the west. But the industry itself is one of the largest for forced labour. The ILO (International Labour Organization) estimates that there are over 150 million children being forced to work for the coffee industry. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want my morning coffee with a splash of child labour.
These children and adults are being forced to work for hours on end with little to no pay to harvest and grow these beans that we take as a necessity.
This is why it is so so important to not support just any old coffee brand like Folgers or Maxwell house that uses forced labour. Instead, use an ethical coffee that uses fair trade practices!
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Some of our favourite ethical coffee brands:
It’s in the name! Ethical bean coffee was founded in 1999 after the founders saw firsthand how coffee bean farmers were treated in Guatemala while waiting for the adoption of their child. They believed there was a better way and so they decided to be the change rather than wait for change. And they’re been fair trade since day one! So you can sip easy knowing that all the hands that went into your coffee, were paid and treated fairly.
Stumptown pioneered the Direct Trade model when it comes to sourcing coffee. Direct Trade means there is no 3rd party involvement. Stumptown pays its producers higher prices for coffee and works with producers they know so they can trust and oversee the supply chain. Since there is no 3rd party involved, the pay goes directly to farmers and is never threatened.
Balzac’s is another fair trade certified coffee company. These certifications aren’t easy to get and shouldn’t be overlooked. This ensures that everyone along the supply chain has been treated and paid fairly. Balzac’s also has a number of impressive sustainability aspects including biodegradable cups and straw in their cafes as well as compostable coffee pods for the at-home drinkers.
Frog Friendly’s coffee beans aren’t farmed, they’re grown wild! Their commitment is “Humane beans 4 Human beings”.
Take this excerpt from their website: “From the hands responsible for harvesting, to the ecosystem of the cloud forest where our beans grow, the donkeys we use for transport and the ongoing support of the people that support the dream. We have learned to follow the path that rings true for our community while providing the stewardship it deserves.” Frog Friendly is a brand that cares about everything and everyone on this planet, doing their part to take care of them.
Fair trade, organic coffee that makes a difference. In addition to being fair trade certified, Birch Bark Coffee carries the Small Producers Certified Symbol (SPP). This symbol is an alliance based on a relationship of collaboration, co-responsibility and trust between producers, buyers and consumers.
I hope this post helps you be a little more mindful of your morning brew as well as helps you pick an amazing ethical coffee brand!
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