Starbucks Pilloried for Conflict Palm Oil

Remember when we took the palm oil challenge–was it as eye-opening for you as it was for me? Get ready to open them even wider: Now Starbucks is involved. [Read more…]

What is Fair Trade Chocolate?

broken pieces of a milk chocolate barNothing says holiday hostess gift better than sweet things in a pretty box.

But here’s the dirty little secret behind mass-produced candy: The U.S. State Department estimates that more than 100,000 children work on the African farms where most cocoa is cultivated, and that 10,000 of those are victims of human trafficking and enslavement.

Thankfully, fair trade certified cocoa is slowly but surely making its way into our markets. But what is fair trade, exactly? [Read more…]

A Case for Fair Trade Coffee

a perfect cup of cappuccinoHi, my name is Rachel, and I’m an addict.

But I’m not confessing anything here that my friends and family don’t already know. They’ve seen the signs: The heightened anxiety, snappishness, darting eyes. The way I examine the street corners when we’re out and my  afternoon withdrawal sets in. I’m addicted to coffee. But not just any coffee: My drug of choice is fair trade coffee, with steamed organic milk.

I’ve tried other varieties of caffeine infusions. Brewed tastes bitter and gives me a stomachache. I can do tea, in a pinch—I drink it at breakfast every day. But after a few days of afternoon tea I’m more depressed than an Londoner in February.

But the organic, fair trade coffee choice is bigger than taste. [Read more…]