In our continued quest for wholesome, post-evangelical living, Charles went on the hunt for organic, fair trade coffee created with sustainable farming practices that don’t harm the workers.
Yeah, it was quite the task.
He found some surprising information about the global coffee industry – and a company worthy of the Freevangelic recommendation.
Did you know that over 2.25 BILLION cups of coffee are sold worldwide EVERY SINGLE DAY? Most of that consumption happens in industrialized nations.
But over 90% of coffee production happens in developing (not industrialized) countries. And that can provide an environment ripe for exploitation and abuse of workers and growers.
What is our responsibility to the people who grow and harvest the coffee that fuels our lives?
At FREEVANGELIC, we believe that it is wise and good to consider how coffee consumption impacts not just our own but other lives. We choose organic free trade coffee so that we know the coffee we consume won’t contain artificial chemicals that harm our bodies – and the people who made that cuppa possible weren’t harmed, either.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture National Organic Standards Board defines the term as this: “Organic” is a labeling term that denotes products produced under the authority of the Organic Foods Production Act. The principal guidelines for organic production are to use materials and practices that enhance the ecological balance of natural systems and that integrate the parts of the farming system into an ecological whole.
As this article from Good Housekeeping points out, “organic” doesn’t necessarily mean the food product is actually good for us. (Organic sugar is still sugar, for instance, and sugar really isn’t “nutritious” no matter how it was grown.)
With coffee, though, the “organic” label holds value. It means the end product doesn’t include artificial preservatives, colors, or flavors. It means prohibited substances like pesticides and fertilizers weren’t used for at least three years prior to those beans being grown. You can see more about what “organic” means here.
Fair Trade, Defined
Okay, so “organic” is good, but what does “fair trade” mean? This is a term used to indicate that the producers of the goods (in this case, the growers and harvesters of the coffee) were paid a fair wage for their work. You can learn all about fair trade from Fair Trade America. We felt this was a very important requirement in our coffee choice because so much of the coffee is grown and harvested in developing countries.
Sustainable Farming, Defined
If you’ve been here at FREEVANGELIC for a while, you know that I (Rebeca) grew up on a farm in Tennessee my family owned for over 200 years. Love for farming and farmers runs deep in my blood. It’s a hard life filled with work and weather worry, but also enormous reward when you see those thousands of plants start to break through the soil.
Today, we know much more about farming’s impact on the land than we did when I was a child. Even then, though, Granddaddy talked to me about letting a field “rest” for a while before planting it again. He spoke of balancing our family’s needs with the earth’s needs. He knew how life and soil worked hand in hand to sustain us.
Today, the kinds of things my Granddaddy did would fall under “Sustainable Agriculture.” Basically, this term means that agricultural practices are undertaken in such a way as to take care of the farmer AND the land. You can read more at the SARE site.
Our Organic, Fair Trade, Sustainably Farmed Coffee Choice
In this episode of the FREEVANGELIC podcast, Charles reveals the organic fair trade coffee supplier he’s discovered – and a coupon code that gets FREEVANGELIC listeners 30% off!
(Please remember that FREEVANGELIC may receive a commission on product links you click on here and then purchase. Thanks for helping us afford these kiddos and rescued pets, and our mutual caffeine needs. :))
Also, the other blog I reference is https://adventureinyou.com. Tom ROGERS (sorry, Tom!) and Anna Faustino offer the Fast Lane Blogging course there.