What about ethical shopping for coffee?

by Bill
(Calgary, Alberta)


Ethical shopping is important to me. What are my options when it comes to buying and making coffee?


Good question. And yes, there are a few options when it comes to ethical shopping for coffee.

Your best bet is to buy Fair Trade coffee. The fair trade movement ensures that coffee importers follow strictly guidelines when buying their coffee beans.

They must pay a minimum price per pound of $1.26 and provide credit to farmers. And if the fair trade coffee is grown organically, the amount paid increases to $1.41.

In addition, they are obliged to provide technical assistance, such as helping farmers switch to sustainable farming practices.

This means more money in each farmer's pocket, and more support for his or her community.

You'll find Fair Trade Certified coffee in most retailers, and on the sites of most online coffee retailers too.

Buying fair trade is a simple step that can make a big difference to growers in developing countries.

When it comes to making coffee, there are also some ethical choices you can make. The bottom line is to throw away as little as possible.

If you make coffee in a French press, you can add the used coffee grinds to your compost bin. Nothing wasted.

But if you have a brewer that used K-Cups or T-Discs, you'll find yourself throwing away a lot of plastic and foil each week.

You can learn more about ethical shopping for coffee on our organic fair trade coffee page.

Comments for What about ethical shopping for coffee?

Click here to add your own comments

Apr 14, 2008
Ethical Coffee: Rain Forest Alliance Certified
by: Anonymous

I wanted to suggest Green Tree Coffee and Tea as a socially responsible vendor. I buy from them directly. Their whole bean coffees are Rain Forest Alliance Certified.
This is some info I gleaned from one of their Newsletters: "Green Tree is committed to procuring the finest tasting, finest quality coffee from farmers who are dedicated to sustainable growing practices.

Rainforest Alliance growers adhere to farm management guidelines developed by the Sustainable Agriculture Network and earn the Rainforest Alliance Certified seal of approval. The certification guarantees that the farm is managed according to the highest social and environmental standards.

-excerpted and adapted from The Rainforest Alliance, www.rainforest-alliance.org"

Link to Green Tree's whole bean coffees:

Mar 06, 2008
fair trade
by: Gail

I like to buy fair trade items, but I find that the fair trade coffe seems acidic. Is it roasted differently than other brands, or use different beans? Is there a good coffe that is low acid for people with sensitive stomachs. I love the flavor but don't want the heartburn!

Click here to add your own comments

Return to Coffee Questions Archive 2008.

health benefits of coffee

This 9-page report tells you about some of the surprising, and important health benefits of drinking coffee.

This report is yours FREE when you sign up for the Coffee Detective Newsletter

"The Health Benefits of
Drinking Coffee"

Sign up below and we'll provide a link where you can download your report immediately.




Your e-mail address is totally secure, and will be used only to send you The Coffee Detective Newsletter.

What's new...

  1. How to make coffee at home as good as you get in coffee shops.

    To make great coffee at home, you need to consider the water, the coffee beans, the grinder and the coffee maker.

    Read More

  2. Make better coffee by grinding your beans a little coarser.

    One thing I learned from my visit to East Coast Coffee Madness in Montreal is that you can make a better brew by grinding your beans a little coarser.

    Read More

  3. Our review of a Yirgacheffe coffee from Modest Coffee Roasters.

    Modest Coffee Roasters offer a three-level subscription service, which includes some amazing coffees like this Yirgacheffe.

    Read More

  4. Your best source for pour over coffee gear.

    The founders of Coletti coffee nor only sell great pour over coffee gear, but are also supporting some important non-profits.

    Read More

The Best Coffee Blogs of 2016 by Market Inspector