The Fair Trade marketplace is growing rapidly and more and more products are appearing commonplace. With a whole array for new Fair Trade products it is now easier than ever to be a conscious consumer. Major chains are now carrying Fair Trade products that range from fruit to gifts. With products so readily available, we have put together a “must” list of Fair Trade. This list describes the items you should try to always purchase Fair Trade. Because not all products have a Fair Trade or even labor friendly alternative, our list ensures you can support Fair Trade on a daily basis. Just be sure and look for the Fair Trade certified logo before you buy!
10 Things to Always Buy Fair Trade
1) Coffee: Coffee was the first Fair Trade product certified and has been on the market for decades. These days Fair Trade coffee is EVERYWHERE! Even coffee giants Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts carry some certified blends. But beyond the larger chains, there are countless independent, local, and funky cafes that serve certified coffee. And if you are more of brew at home person, you can find pounds of Fair Trade coffee in natural food stores, co-ops, Whole Foods, and even major supermarkets. To find coffee near you, check TransFair’s guide.
2) Tea: Along with coffee, tea is readily available in supermarkets and cafes. Tea can be found in loose leaf form, tea bags, and even bottled form. The US tea market is growing and certified tea can be found almost anywhere! Check Green America’s guide to Fair Trade teas.
3) Chocolate: Next to coffee and tea, chocolate is probably the most common certified product. Several companies have been switching to Fair Trade including the recent announcement by Green & Black and Cadbury’s UK brand. Fair Trade chocolate is even used in some Ben & Jerry’s ice cream flavors, and soon all flavors! Chocolate can be found in most natural food stores, co-ops, Whole Foods, and even chain markets. Fair Trade cocoa is also available! Look out for certified chocolate in your area.
4) Fruit: Fair Trade fruit has now become readily available in American markets. Certified bananas are carried in many markets and used by restaurants all over the country. Other tropical fruits such as mangoes and pineapples have a growing availability. Be on the look out for more and more fruits becoming certified! But for now, look for the Fair Trade certified logo when stocking up on your tropical fruits! Find fruit in your area.
5) Flowers: Next time you want to woo your sweetie, go to a dinner party, or just want to spruce up your pad, choose Fair Trade flowers! Certified flowers are available at Whole Foods Markets, Giant Superstores and likely your local co-op. And even if you need a bouquet delivered, there is a Fair Trade option for you. Check out Organic Style, One World Flowers, and even Sam’s Club! Here’s more information of Fair Trade Flowers and where to buy them.
6) Rice: If you are in the mood for long grain or wild rice, turn to the Fair Trade alternative. These varieties of rice are now offered Fair Trade. Unfortunately, it is hard to find white or brown rice with Fair Trade certification, as most of it is grown within the US. However, these types of rice are sumptuous and will add flare to your dish, without sacrificing your ethics or your taste buds! Also, a great bonus is most Fair Trade rice is also organic, but be sure and check for both certifications before purchasing. These items can be found in natural food stores, cooperatives, and chains such as Whole Foods Market. Locate Fair Trade Rice in your neighborhood today!
7) Vanilla: Vanilla is a baking staple and is necessary for most baked goods. Luckily, Fair Trade vanilla has certified by TransFair since 2006. Much like coffee, the price of vanilla fluctuates on the market, which can destroy local farmers. But with a Fair Trade price, you can guarantee the farmers are being paid a fair price. Fair Trade vanilla can be found at many stores, including Whole Foods, and is even used in Ben & Jerry’s Fair Trade vanilla ice cream. Learn more about Fair Trade vanilla.
8) Spices: Once upon a time Fair Trade spices may have been hard to locate but not any more! More and more spices are becoming certified and the list now ranges from Cinnamon to Ginger and even simple Black Pepper. Check out Frontier spices for certified offerings. Frontier and other Fair Trade spices can be found at natural food stores, Whole Foods, co-ops, and some large grocery stores.
9) Sugar: There are plenty of sugar alternatives on the market such as local maple syrup and honey, however, when you need just plain old sugar look no further than the Fair Trade world. Sugar plantations can ecologically and economically devastate and you can be sure this will not occur with a Fair Trade logo. Sugar is carried in a wide variety of stores including Sam’s Club, believe it or not! Find fair sugar in your neck of the woods.
10) Gifts: Fair Trade gifts are the wave of the future. A few years ago you could only find Fair Trade jewelery and a few artisan gifts, however the market for growing Fair Trade gifts is growing, including a new Apparel certification program from Transfair. World of Good, is a great place to find unique and Fair Trade gift items as well as Global Exchange. You can find purses, shoes, art; pretty much any gift you would like to give, you can find a unique and well crafted Fair Trade alternative.