Fair Trade Organic Tea

Fair Trade Also Means Better Quality in the Workplace

“Every business transaction is a challenge to see that both parties come out fairly.”

–  Adam Smith, 1759


We can make a difference by taking our sense of taste and social responsibility to the office each morning.

Small businesses have substantial influence in their community, and when they adopt practices like supporting Fair Trade that advance the quality of life for their patrons, communities, and the environment, it makes a huge difference.

Here are a few suggestions for adding Fair Trade in your workplace, starting around the coffee station:



  • Ensure that your office coffee machine is brewing Fair Trade coffee. Also, encourage your employer to supply Fair Trade cocoa and tea, as well as Fair Trade chocolates as a snack during meetings or as an employee reward.

  • Post signs in the office break room or kitchen, preferably above the coffee maker, letting your coworkers know that the beverages they are drinking are supporting small-scale farmers.

  • Many organizations working on Fair Trade provide fact sheets and resources on their website. You can order informational materials or download them from organizations such as the Fair Trade Resource Network or Transfair USA. Several offer material you can print out and give to coworkers (maybe with a piece of Fair Trade chocolate as an incentive).

  • Use your company newsletter or blog to promote Fair Trade.

  • Ask for corporate donations to Fair Trade organizations.

  • Ask the businesses you support during the workweek to sell Fair Trade products. Don’t be intimidated; business owners really do value consumer feedback.

  • Let your local merchants know you value the Fair Trade items they sell, and ask them to stock any you’d like to purchase.

  • Encourage your business to advocate for making your town a “Fair Trade Town” — a community that makes a commitment to supporting Fair Trade. Lead the way!

  • Exchange Fair Trade gifts with coworkers during the holidays.

  • Give the gift of Fair Trade to clients: Global Exchange, for example, has a Corporate Gift Program allowing you to buy socially conscious Fair Trade gifts.



The Fair Trade Certified™ label helps your office make better choices, with the assurance that the merchandise purchased is socially and environmentally conscious. As we become more aware of opportunities to use our influence in the marketplace, Fair Trade provides a path for both individuals and businesses to vote with their dollars and become a real force for good.

Comments

K-Cup Finder: There's an App for That

Your smart phone is about to start brewing!  Introducing K-Cup® Finder, your free mobile reference for K-Cup® portion packs.

What exactly does it feature?  Since you asked:




  • Over 100 varieties represented including Green Mountain Coffee® and other brands

  • New varieties added as they are released

  • See reviews and ratings from other K-Cup® fans, and share your reviews with other K-Cup Finder app users and on Twitter

  • Sort and filter by brand, roast, and attributes (Fair Trade, Kosher, Organic, and more)

  • It's not just for coffee– find teas, hot cocoa, Brew Over Ice beverages, and other specialty and seasonal varieties

  • Create a favorites list of blends for future reference, with your rating and notes

  • Receive promotional offers and discounts

  • Links to buy varieties online direct from us

  • Work on your iPhone, iTouch, and iPad



We’d love for you to tell us what you like... and what you don't.  Let us know in the comments below or at our Feedback Form.

Comments

Green Your Office Part 1: 10 Easy, Low-Cost Tips

According to a TIME Magazine article, heating, air conditioning, and electricity for American businesses produce about 40% of our nation’s CO2 emissions and account for around 70% of our power consumption. The following first steps will not only yield a greener office with a smaller carbon footprint, but also promote a happier workplace, and a healthier bottom line. These 10 are just a start. I'll share more in the coming months


1. Use Power Strips


“Phantom loads” occur when devices that appear turned off still draw electricity — such as appliances with digital clocks and electronics with instant-on capability. Office equipment can be bundled onto one power strip for easy switching off when not in use, but make sure the power strips are accessible and visible so everyone remembers to use them.



2. Kick the Bottled Water Habit


It is estimated that Americans toss out over 35 billion plastic water bottles annually, and workplaces are some of the largest sources of that plastic bottle trash. Consider using a water delivery service or buying a water filter for the kitchen faucet along with a supply of reusable cups.



3. Buy Recycled Paper


Opt for 100% recycled content paper, paper towels, and toilet paper. For printed sales and marketing brochures, investigate alternatives in post-consumer recycled paper. Luckily, many recycled paper vendors now sell high post-consumer content recycled products at prices comparable to traditional paper products.



4. Stop Stapling


Use reusable binder clips or paper clips to join pages, or buy a “stapleless” fastener to avoid buying staples altogether. You will keep tons of steel out of landfills.



5. Go Paperless


Employing a cloud-based project management system as much as possible allows team members access to key information resources, without the need for lots of printouts. Some examples of these systems include Jive, BaseCamp, Google Docs, and Wave.



6. Think Outside the Cubicle


Carpools and public transit benefit both the environment and the employees. Initiate some of these simple ideas if you are the business owner or suggest them to your boss:



  • Suggest four-day work weeks or telecommuting. (Working fewer days per week or telecommuting can substantially reduce transportation and fuel expenses.)

  • Ask your employer to offer carpool-matching plans connecting employees with co-workers who live nearby or on the same route to the office.

  • Provide parking incentives such as prime parking spots for carpoolers.

  • Encourage bicycling and walking to the office by conveniently locating bike racks near the workplace.

  • Offer financial incentives for these options.




7. Use Laptops


ENERGY STAR qualified computers can use up to 90% less energy than desktop models so, whenever possible, ditch the desktops.



8. Give the Gift of Green
Whether you are buying a special gift for a client or a present for an office baby shower, try to buy environmentally friendly or Fair Trade items to show that you care about your customers and co-workers as well as the planet.




9. Offer Organic Coffee & Tea


This is our favorite. Ask your office manager to stock organic or Fair Trade coffee for the break room. Ask your co-workers to bring in their favorite coffee mug or water glass and get some mugs (preferably with your company logo) for visiting clients to eliminate disposable cup waste.



10. Track and Celebrate Your Success


Last but not least, post explanations of what you’re doing and how much you’ve accomplished near each “greened space” — and include how the changes make sense environmentally and financially. People tend to respond more favorably when they know the reason behind a decision and feel they are included in the effort rather than having it imposed top-down. Share these and any other green office tips you find with your office mates and consider electing a “Sustainability Manager” to oversee recycling, energy usage, and research more green office alternatives.

Comments

Brewing a Better BBQ with Coffee and Tea Recipes

Last weekend, a team of Green Mountain Coffee and Brew Over Ice foodies rolled into Washington, D.C. fueled with the idea that coffee, tea, and BBQ would make for a winning combination at the Safeway Barbeque Battle.  After three days of late nights, early mornings, and more coffee around the brewer than we can count, the results are in:

 

Flatlander BBQ’s Celestial Seasoning Sweet Southern Tea Perfect Iced Tea-rubbed and Brew Over Ice Nantucket Iced coffee sauce-smothered pork ribs took 3rd place in the Barbeque Battle!  These caffeinated ribs garnered our team a pig-topped trophy and $500, which will be donated to the Boys & Girls Club of Washington, D.C., the marquee charity of the event.  To top it all off, it turns out we placed 9th out of 41 teams, competing among some of the top teams in the country. “Wow,” would be an understatement.

 

 

Wanting to spread BBQ coffee revelations around and to thank you all for cheering us on, it’s time to share our recipes in time for everyone to enjoy them during the Fourth of July.  Look below to learn how to make our Coffee-Rubbed Brisket, Half-and-Half Chicken, Nantucket Blend-Rubbed Pork Shoulder and award-winning Sweet Tea Ribs.  Not to mention our Jalapeño Coffee Barbecue and Tricky Barbeque Saucel!  Read the recipes below:

 

 

Coffee-Rubbed Brisket


RUB:
2 Tablespoons Green Mountain Coffee Fair Trade Organic Sumatran Reserve OR Nantucket Blend K-Cup® Portion Packs

2 Tablespoons paprika

2 Tablespoons light brown sugar (Fair Trade Certified™)

2 Tablespoons coarse salt

4 Tablespoons ground black pepper

1 Tablespoon ground ancho chili powder

1 Tablespoon finely grated lemon zest

Open the portion packs and empty the contents into a bowl with other ingredients.  Mix well.

MOP:

1/2 cup apple juice

4 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

TECHNIQUE:

Trim a full packer brisket of most exterior fat and silverskin, or you can use just the brisket flat

Coat the brisket with a thin layer of yellow mustard and then coat with coffee rub, rubbing it into the meat.  Wrap in plastic wrap or place in a large resalable plastic bag and refrigerate overnight.

Rest the meat at room temperature before grilling, about 1 hour. Prepare grill for indirect medium-low heat, about 250 degrees.
Put the brisket, fatty-side up, on the grill away from the heat; cover the grill. Baste or spray the brisket with the mop whenever the surface looks dry, about once every hour. Keep the temperature of the grill or smoker around 250 degrees, adding charcoal as necessary.

After 4 hours of cooking, put the brisket in an aluminum foil pan, fatty side up; return brisket to the grill away from the heat. Cover the grill; continue cooking. Continue mopping the brisket if it looks dry. If your grill has a temperature gauge, it should stay about 250 degrees during the entire cooking time. If using charcoal, add fresh coals about once an hour.

Cook until severely browned and blackened in spots or very well-done (about 190 degrees on an instant read thermometer in the thickest part of the brisket), 6 to 8 hours total.

Remove the pan from the heat; let rest 20 minutes. Trim any excess fat; slice brisket across the grain. Serve with barbecue sauce.

 

Sweet Tea Ribs

 

RUB:

4 Celestial Seasonings Southern Style Sweet Tea Brew Over Ice K-Cup® Portion Packs

1 Tablespoons paprika

1/2 Tablespoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon Tiny Spice Company Citrus Pepper OR substitute 1 teaspoon black pepper

Peel the foil off the portion packs, empty into a spice or coffee grinder, and grind until powdery.  Mix with the paprika, salt and pepper.

MOP:

1/2 cup apple juice

4 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

TECHNIQUE:

Pat ribs dry and trim the membrane from the underside.

Coat ribs with a thin layer of yellow mustard and then rub the tea mixture into the ribs

Wrap in plastic wrap or place in a large resalable plastic bag and let marinate for at least 4 hours.

Rest the meat at room temperature before grilling, about 30 minutes. Prepare grill for indirect medium-low heat, about 250 degrees.
Put the ribs, bone side down, on the grill away from the heat; cover the grill. Baste or spray the ribs with the mop whenever the surface looks dry, about once every hour.  Keep the temperature of the grill or smoker around 250 degrees, adding charcoal as necessary.

After 3 hours of cooking, wrap the ribs in aluminum foil and return ribs to the grill away from the heat. Cover the grill; continue cooking. If your grill has a temperature gauge, it should stay about 250 degrees during the entire cooking time. If using charcoal, add fresh coals about once an hour.

Cook until the ribs are flexible when you try to pick them up using tongs or oven mitts, 5 to 6 hours total.  They should not be falling off the bone, but tender and flexible.

Remove the ribs from the heat; let rest 20 minutes. Place on grill directly above coals and baste generously on both sides with sauce, turning frequently to prevent burning.  Remove from grill and cut into portions.

 

Chicken Rub

2 Celestial Seasonings Half & Half Brew Over Ice K-Cup® Portion Packs

4 Tablespoons Mrs. Dash Salt-Free Seasoning

1 Tablespoon paprika

1 Tablespoon kosher salt

Empty the portion packs into a coffee or spice grinder and grind until powdery.  Mix with other ingredients.

TECHNIQUE:

Use the rub on your favorite cut of chicken or a whole chicken: if using a cut with skin, be sure to get under the skin.

Barbecue or grill chicken as you normally would.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nantucket Blend-Rubbed Pork Shoulder

RUB:

1 Green Mountain Coffee Nantucket Blend Brew Over Ice K-Cup® Portion Packs

3 Tablespoons light brown sugar (Fair Trade Certified™)

1 Tablespoon Tiny Spice Company Citrus Pepper (or substitute black pepper)

½ teaspoon anise seed

1 Tablespoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon anise seed

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Open the portion packs and empty the contents into a bowl with other ingredients.  Mix well.

MOP:

1/2 cup apple juice

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

4 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

TECHNIQUE:

Trim a pork shoulder (Boston Butt) of  most visible fat and silverskin.

Rub with a thin layer of yellow mustard and then cover with coffee rub

Wrap in plastic wrap or place in a large plastic bag and let marinate overnight

Rest the meat at room temperature before grilling, about 1 hour. Prepare grill for indirect medium-low heat, about 250 degrees.
Put the pork shoulder, fatty-side up, on the grill away from the heat; cover the grill. Baste or spray the brisket with the mop whenever the surface looks dry, about once every hour.  Keep the temperature of the grill or smoker around 250 degrees, adding charcoal as necessary.
After 4 hours of cooking, put the pork shoulder in an aluminum foil pan, add ½ cup apple juice and cover tightly with aluminum foil; return shoulder to the grill away from the heat. Cover the grill; continue cooking. If your grill has a temperature gauge, it should stay about 250 degrees during the entire cooking time. If using charcoal, add fresh coals about once an hour.

Cook until severely the internal temperature reaches 190 degrees on an instant read thermometer, 6 to 8 hours total.

Remove the pan from the heat; let rest 20 minutes. Using heat-proof gloves or forks, pull pork apart in foil pan, using the jus in pan to moisten and flavor the meat.  Remove any connective tissue or fat that didn’t cook out.  Serve with your favorite barbecue sauce.

 

Tricky Barbecue Sauce

 

2 Tablespoons grainy Dijon mustard (we use Fox Meadow Farm 3-Peppercorn Dijon from Vermont)

2 Tablespoons yellow mustard (we use Fox Meadow Farm Vermont Maple Mustard)

1 cup cider vinegar

¼ cup low sodium soy sauce

¼ cup regular soy sauce

2 cups ketchup

2 cups honey (Champlain Valley Apiaries Honey)

1 Nantucket Brew Over Ice K-Cup® Portion Pack brewed on 6-oz setting without ice

3 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

1 Tablespoon paprika

1 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon maple sugar OR 2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons maple syrup

½ teaspoon garlic powder

½ teaspoon Chinese five spice powder

¼ teaspoon ancho chili powder

Combine all ingredients in a medium sauce pan and bring to a light boil.  Boil while continuously stirring for about 15 minutes, or until thickened.

 

 

 

Jalapeno-Coffee Barbecue Sauce

2 Green Mountain Coffee Nantucket Blend Brew Over Ice K-Cup® Portion Packs brewed on 4oz setting

1 cup ketchup

¼ cup molasses

2 Tablespoons orange juice

2 Tablespoons cider vinegar

2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

2 jalapeno peppers, pierced all over with a fork

3 shots hot sauce

In a medium saucepan, combine all ingredients except hot sauce.  Cook, stirring frequently, over low heat until slightly thickened, 10 to 15 minutes

Remove from heat and let cool.  Discard peppers and season with hot sauce to taste.

 

Comments

Top Ten Office Gifts of the Season

TOP TEN OFFICE GIFTS

#10 Small Revelation Travel Mug $2.95

We here at Business Coffee Express are often asked, "What is the best way to take my Green Mountain Coffee wakeboarding?" The answer is this cute little 12-oz. Revelation Travel Mug with a spill-proof, screw-on lid. It features a beautiful scene of the Vermont Green Mountains, and is the perfect size to grab and go whether you are free soloing, sky surfing, or even wakeboarding.  At this price you should buy one for everyone in the office!

#9 Logo Backpacker Thermos $19.95

The sleek, slender shape looks like you after the holidays, thanks to all the wakeboarding you've been doing! This compact, no-leak Thermos®, made by Nissan™ is so stylish it might just put mugs and tumblers out of style. Features an easy-to-open, spring loaded lid. Completely leak proof perfect for backpacks and travel. Double Insulation means your coffee stays hot for hours.

#8 Stoneware Logo Mug $14.95

Perfect for the boss who needs to be reminded on a daily basis that every office deserves great coffee! Each is individually hand-thrown by American master potters. Slight color and size variations showcase the unique properties of each one-of-a-kind mug. Solid and sizable, each of these mugs can stand on its own, but two make a nice pair.

#7 Bodum Milk Frother $19.95

The next time someone in your office tells you not to get worked up into such a lather, say "Why Not?" and show them this! This easy-to-use, battery-powered frother is perfect for foamy milk for your coffee without the hassle of an espresso machine. You will probably decide to keep it for yourself so buy two.

#6 Lake Champlain Chocolates Organic Truffles $22.95

Lake Champlain truffles— on the list because it's made in VT of course, and because they are the best Truffles I've ever had. Sorry Belgium, but cheer up, GMCR will probably never make a $25 raspberry beer aged in oak. Lake Champlain Chocolates has reached new heights with this collection of 15 all-natural, preservative-free truffles. Includes Ethiopian Coffee, Honey Fig, Ginger Lemon, Aztec, Mango, and Vanilla.

#5 Better World Gift Bag $59.95

Isn't dreaming of a better world what the Holidays are all about? Our exquisite chocolates, cocoa, coffees and tea help actually make it happen— plus they taste amazing. Includes 7 fabulous products contributing to a better world and a reusable shopping tote.

#4 Organic Breakfast Crate $37.95

Why a Crate? Because "Crate" just sounds cool, and who wouldn’t rather have a "crate" of something they love rather than just a box? Besides, it doubles as an "In" box. Filled with Fair Trade Organic coffee and Cocoa and Organic pancake mix and maple syrup, all from Vermont.

#3 K-Cup Ultimate Gift Basket $44.95

C'mon, "Ultimate" is right there in the name, of course it has to be in the top 10! The perfect gift if their office already enjoys a Keurig® Brewer. If not, get them one of those too! Our K-Cup Gift Basket gives you great coffee right away, and wonderful sustenance for the rest of the day. Includes 24 Green Mountain Coffee Sampler K-Cups.

#2 The Ultimate Office Gift Basket $49.95

Is it possible for two Green Mountain Coffee gifts to be called "Ultimate" at the same time? Yes, it's a holiday miracle! Packed full of delicious treats, and there’s more than enough to share. Brew up a pot of Breakfast Blend or French Roast while everyone in the office digs in to sweet granola, delicate shortbread, maple candy, or chocolate indulgences. It’ll be the most memorable Holiday coffee break ever!

#1 Keurig Office Pro Coffee Brewer $129.95

Not only the greatest invention in the history of humankind, but perhaps the greatest gift since frankincense and myrrh. (Gold is still hard to beat.) Even small offices deserve great coffee and the B145 Office Pro delivers. Designed for offices with 15 or fewer people, its small footprint makes it a perfect fit for conference rooms, board rooms and reception areas. Guaranteed to ward off office revolts, palace coups, passive-aggressive behavior and Monday sick days. They should rename it "Ultimate."

Comments

Green Mountain Coffee Top Holiday Gift Picks

With so much of the holidays already dedicated to the stresses of the season, we’re here to provide you with trouble-free gift giving to even the pickiest person on your list.  Yes, even the pickiest person on your list.  You know the kind: The friends you love dearly but have expensive tastes (that’s Luxury Larry), your restaurateur neighbor (Foodie Fran), you socially-conscious coworker (Advocating Anne), or your sibling who has absolutely everything (Been-there-Done-That Ben).  Have no fear this year – Green Mountain Coffee’s got you covered.



Give something truly exceptional this holiday season with Green Mountain Coffee’s Special Reserve coffee.  Four times a year, we seek out some of the rarest coffees from around the world and batch roast them to display the coffee’s fullest flavor and aroma.  Each Special Reserve comes from a single origin – like our latest Papua New Guinea Wahgi Valley – and produces a very limited batch, only around 1,000 bags.  Our Special Reserve selections pair the farmers’ best work with the art and craft of our Master Roasters – all so true coffee connoisseurs can experience the unique qualities of these origins in their morning cup. This website exclusive is available for $17.95 for 10-12 ounce bag or you can join the Tour to get the latest Reserves shipped right to your door before anyone else.




Be the toast of the breakfast table by giving a delicious breakfast that will fill those on your list with good feelings and food. Start with our own Organic House Blend coffee or Lake Champlain Hot Cocoa— both are Fair Trade and organic. Follow up with organic treats from Highland Sugarworks: multi-grain pancakes topped with exquisite maple syrup.  Share this gift with your holiday hosts and they’ll be asking you to come back as soon as possible! Available for $37.95.


If variety is the spice of your loved ones life, Green Mountain Coffee has a coffee selection for you.  This sampler includes three 10-oz. bags of coffee to fit every mood – bold and dark with French Roast, sweet and swanky with Sumatran Reserve, and bright and vibrant with our Ethiopian Yirgacheffe. Each certified Fair Trade and Organic, our sampler is perfect for the socially-minded with a coffee habit that’s never routine. Available for $24.95.


Keurig® single-cup brewing is the latest trend in coffee – bringing fast, affordable, and café quality hot beverages to the home. Each of the over 200 varieties of K-Cup® portion packs make the perfect cup of coffee, tea, hot cocoa, hot cider, and iced coffee and teas at the touch of a button. There's no measuring, grinding, or mess.  With five Keurig brewers available, from the red hot Mini Plus Personal Brewer ($99.95) to the luxury Cuisinart® Keurig Single-Cup Brewer ($199.99), there’s a style and price point for everyone. Even the gadget guru with everything will want to thank you every time they push the button.  Available at GreenMountainCoffee.com (and there’s free shipping on all brewers when shipping within the continuous US).

No matter the stresses this season may bring, we’re here to make your holidays a happy one.

Comments

Welcome Timothy’s World Coffee


We at Green Mountain Coffee are proud to welcome our sister brand from the north - Timothy’s World Coffee® - to their new U.S.* online shopping home: Timothys.com.

Beginning this May, Timothy's will launch a total of 26 varieties of premium coffees in K-Cup® portion packs, regular, decaf, and flavored coffees ranging from mild to dark in roast profile.  For the first time ever, they'll also offer a variety pack of coffees and teas, so you can get a taste for what Timothy’s has to offer. It’s most exciting that !BAM! we have three of renowned chef Emeril Lagasse’s Emeril’s® K-Cup coffees in the mix as well!

Like Green Mountain Coffee, Timothy's is an industry pioneer in supporting socially and environmentally responsible coffee programs, producing coffee that helps preserve the environment and sustain the livelihood of coffee farmers and laborers. To that end, Timothy’s supports Fair Trade, participates in the Rainforest Alliance certification program, and partners with the Organic Crop Improvement Association (OCIA).

If you don’t already know and enjoy Timothy’s coffees, stop by their site and say, "Hi" for us!.

*Purchasing K-Cups from our U.S. website can lead to longer shipping times than desired, import duties and taxes/fees for Canadian customers. To save on shipping fees and shipping times, we strongly recommend you shop at their Canadian site, Timothys.ca. The Canadian site currently offers "Free Shipping on orders over CAD$63".

Comments

Green Mountain Coffee Top Holiday Gift Picks

Happy Black Friday!  Hope the shopping spree is going swimmingly!

Unless, of course, you haven’t been up since 5 a.m., sorting your flyers and coupons and mapping out your shopping route with precision, a travel mug full of caffeinated joy clenched in your hand?

Well.

If you’re one to avoid the lines, crowds, and frenetic pace that is Black Friday, let’s see if we can help you out with your laid back, clickable, PJ-wearing Cyber Monday with some GreenMountainCoffee.com Top Picks:

Better World Gift Basket

1. Our Better World Gift Basket: The reusable, eco-friendly tote overflows with Fair Trade, organic, and sustainable treats.  Fair Trade coffee, tea, cocoa, and chocolate sauce come from farmers who were paid a fair wage. Throw in a pint of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream and you have it all: java, justice, and joy.

Fair Trade Organic Coffee Sampler

2. Our Fair Trade Organic Sampler: This sampler includes three 10-oz. bags of coffee to fit every mood – bold and dark with French Roast, sweet and swanky with Sumatran Reserve, and bright and vibrant with Ethiopian Yirgacheffe. With certified Fair Trade and Organic coffees, this sampler is perfect for the socially-minded with a coffee habit that’s never routine.

Holiday Seasonal Eggnogg

3. Our Limited Edition Seasonal Coffees: Only available during this time of year, Holiday Blend, Spicy Eggnog, and Gingerbread are all created to complement the special foods and festivities of the season. All three coffees are Fair Trade Certified™, which means small-scale farmers were paid a fair price for their beans. Available bagged and in K-Cups.

Taste of VT Breakfast Basket

4. Our Taste of Vermont Breakfast Gift: Brings the beauty of the Green Mountain State right to your doorstep. This special collection represents the best of Vermont's food artisans, including maple butter and maple syrup fromHighland Sugarworks; Raspberry Preserves from Side Hill Farm; a tin of Lake Champlain Fair Trade Organic Cocoa. Mitzi’s Maple Granola made out of Stowe, Vt. Our own Vermont Country Blend and Breakfast Blend coffees round out your tasty tour of Vermont.

Happy hunting…or clicking!

-Kristen

Comments

The End of Fair Trade Month, Not Your Fair Trade Spirit!

Fair Trade Month Quiz:


Question 31: Name one way to support Fair Trade?


Answer: You tell us.


Haven’t answered our Fair Trade Quiz question of the day, yet? Well, why not? The answer’s right there! If that isn’t enough for you, the first 100 participants* get a sample of Green Mountain Coffee’s Fair Trade Certified™ Organic House Blend and all answers get entered to the grand prize drawing of 12-months of Green Mountain Coffee Fair Trade Certified™ Coffees. Go here to enter: http://www.eatdrinkandbefair.com/quiz.php.


*Sorry, employees and their immediate family members of Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc. are not eligible. But keep an eye out for our internal Fair Trade quiz.

---

Fair Trade Certified LabelNow that you know what Fair Trade is all about, what can you do about supporting fair trade in your daily life? Yes, daily life: the time when Fair Trade blogs, quizzes, and month long celebrations are not running rampant on your computer screen.

You can start with food items, since that’s a habit that’s not going anywhere anytime soon. Many fair trade foods available these days in your grocery store – just look for the Fair Trade Certified™ label. Coffee of course is at the top of the list as well as tea. For those with a sweet tooth (AKA me) there are quite a few fair trade options for chocolate bars and cocoa. In general, healthy food markets and Coop’s will have a wider range of Fair Trade food products including rice, sugar, and fruit in addition to coffee, tea and cocoa. Check out TransFair USA’s Where to Buy section to search out the closest Fair Trade food items in your area. There you can find listings for local grocery stores as well as large national retailers who carry fair trade items.

Then you can just to other, non-edible products that carry the Fair Trade label. Some are more readily available than others but you can find Fair Trade versions of apparel, accessories, furniture, bedding, toys, arts, and crafts at retailers and websites, like http://www.wftomarket.com/. With holiday gift giving season just around the corner it’s a great time to commit to purchasing Fair Trade products – think of it as doubling your giving: once to the recipient, and once to the farmer.  Use the opportunity of gift giving to educate family and friends about the benefits of Fair Trade.

For up-to-date information on Fair Trade standards visit: www.wfto.com/, www.transfairusa.org, and http://www.fairtradefederation.org/

Thanks for the Fair Trade memores!  Remember: Be Social. Be Fair.

-Jasna

Comments

First Time Offender: Fair Trade Organic

Fair Trade Month Quiz:


Question 18: Name a Fair Trade Town in the United States.


Answer: Media, PA, Brattleboro, VT, and Milwaukee, WI

Haven’t answered our Fair Trade Quiz question of the day, yet?  Well, why not?  The answer’s right there!  If that isn’t enough for you, the first 100 participants* get a sample of Green Mountain Coffee’s Fair Trade Certified™ Organic House Blend and all answers get entered to the grand prize drawing of 12-months of Green Mountain Coffee Fair Trade Certified™ Coffees.  Go here to enter: http://www.eatdrinkandbefair.com/quiz.php.

*Sorry, employees and their immediate family members of Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc. are not eligible. But keep an eye out for our internal Fair Trade quiz.

---



Hi, my name is Kristen and I am a (FTO)2.




Never heard of it? That’s not surprising. We’re a reclusive bunch, us Fair Trade Organic First Time Offenders. It only takes one bite, sip, crunch, or slurp to become one of us.




I remember what it was like before: Waltzing through the grocery store, buying things willy-nilly. I knew about organic products and I had a basic understanding of Fair Trade, but that didn’t impact my shopping. I looked at the price, the brand, and nothing else. But since that day when I took a sip of that Fair Trade Organic hot cocoa from Lake Champlain Chocolates – I’m now aware of the existence of two little labels:



USDA Organic Seal Fair Trade Certified Label




That is what makes a FTO2 – the purchase and use of a product with both labels. You could become one without knowing it, it’s so simple – after all, I did. But it’s not a tiresome title to hold. It just makes you think, “Given the choice, I’d go for Fair Trade Certified Organic.” I mean, it’s great to be certified organic; it’s great to be Fair Trade Certified. But to be Fair Trade Certified and organic? The thought sends shivers down my spine.




Give a bag of coffee, make it FTO. Give a jar of chocolate sauce, make it FTO. Give a container of tea, make it FTO.




No need to take my advice. But, then again, I am a FTO2.




And that gets me back to the point of this little treatise: My name is Kristen and I am a FTO2.




Want to be a FTO2, too?




-Kristen

Comments

Fair Trade All Day Long!

Fair Trade Month Quiz:


Question 16: Other than coffee, what food products are Fair Trade Certified in the United States?


Answer: Tea, cocoa & chocolate, fresh fruit, sugar, rice, vanilla, flowers, and honey


 


Haven’t answered our Fair Trade Quiz question of the day, yet?  Well, why not?  The answer’s right there!  If that isn’t enough for you, the first 100 participants* get a sample of Green Mountain Coffee’s Fair Trade Certified™ Organic House Blend and all answers get entered to the grand prize drawing of 12-months of Green Mountain Coffee Fair Trade Certified™ Coffees.  Go here to enter: http://www.eatdrinkandbefair.com/quiz.php


 


 


*Sorry, employees and their immediate family members of Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc. are not eligible. But keep an eye out for our internal Fair Trade quiz.  


 


 


---


 


Fair Trade coffee means many things to me:


1.      Fair prices paid to democratically-organized farmer cooperatives


2.      Fair labor conditions


3.      A direct line of commerce between growers and buyers


4.      Community development


5.      Environmental sustainability. 


 


But most of all, it means that a single sip, bite, or spoonful is a great way to start the day…for me, you, and many farmers, as well.


 


With your day off to a rousing start, why not keep the Fair Trade ball rolling?  It’s possible to fuel the Fair Trade movement in a bunch of mouth-watering ways: chocolate, bananas, mangos, pineapples, grapes, sugar, honey, rice and tea (and, if you consider flowers edible, there are Fair Trade flowers too!).  Sounds like there is a killer batch of brownies or a lush fruit salad in my future.


 


For those without the time (or, in my case, skills!) to whip up something from scratch, our neighbors from just up the road, Ben & Jerry’s, use Fair Trade vanilla, chocolate, and coffee in their versions of these flavors.  À la mode, anyone?


 


Green America (formerly Co-op America) a not-for-profit membership organization whose mission is to harness economic power—the strength of consumers, investors, businesses, and the marketplace—to create a socially just and environmentally sustainable society, has a nice list of where to find these Fair Trade products.  See that list via the link HERE.


 


-Paula

Comments

Fair Trade in Kenya

Rick Peyser, Director of Social Advocacy and Coffee Community Outreach is on the Board of Directors for the Fair Trade Labeling Organization (FLO). FLO is the organization that coordinates Fair Trade labeling on an international level. They set international Fair Trade standards, organize support for producers around the world, develop global Fair Trade strategy, and promote trade justice internationally.

As a member of their Board of Directors, Rick travels four times a year to different locations for FLO's Board's meetings. Right now, Rick is far away in Nairobi, Kenya. As part of this quarter's Board Meeting, they are visiting Fair Trade tea farms around the area.

Below is an update I received from Rick today, literally written on the road as he entered the Rift Valley, Kenya:

  "We are in one of our two buses on our way from Nairobi to our hotel in the Rift Valley.  We still have close to two hours to go.  We started today at 7 a.m. - long day.

It has been sunny and warm today, but is now clouding up a bit.  The country is in the midst of a severe drought.  I watched a report on TV yesterday morning that was about cattle that died due to no water - very sad for the animals and their owners.

As expected people are very poor, and it was heartening hearing from tea producers about the difference fair trade is making in their lives.

It is nearing dusk, and we just came to a spectacular view of the Rift Valley which we are starting to descend into.

 At any rate, it has been a long day, and tomorrow promises to be just as long and even more interesting

-Rick"

Click here for the general area of where Rick is.

Comments

Fair Trade: Trick or Treat?

As daylight dims and diminutive ghosts and goblins prepare for Halloween's curious traditions, so, too, does twilight fall on the our annual celebration of Fair Trade Month.

The purpose of Fair Trade Month is, of course, to celebrate the achievements of the Fair Trade movement, and to encourage consumers to shop for, and to ask for Fair Trade certified products: coffee, tea, sugar, bananas, grapes, pineapples, rice and -- what every little monster hopes to find in his or her trick-or-treat bag — chocolate.

Still, a great many folks have still to hear about Fair Trade. And some who *have* heard of Fair Trade are under the impression that it's "just another marketing thing." So it's not only fair -- it's important -- to answer the fundamental question: is Fair Trade really fair? Is it equitable? Is it a viable solution to the price crisis that has plagued coffee for years? In a nutshell -- Fair Trade: trick, or treat?

The ideals of Fair Trade are simple and well-intended: break the cycle of poverty by offering farmers a price floor and a ready marketplace for their products, and in exchange win assurances of eco-friendly and sustainable farming practices. In theory this cycle should lead to an upward spiral of increasing economic stability and product quality, and in practice, it does. There are a great many success stories that can be told...


  • ...of the coffee farmers in Colombia who have been empowered to make a stand against drug lords — their lands now produce coffee that earns them a livable wage, they no longer need to grow coca.

  • ...of the farmers on Lake Atitlan in Guatemala who have been able to distribute medicine to the growers' children and improve their nutrition, eliminating what had been an appalling infant mortality rate. (Those children are now enjoying a newly expanded school, too, which I felt privileged to visit.)

  • ...of the farmers in Huatusco, Mexico who have reforested their surrounding lands, bringing their ecosystem back from the edge of destruction, and in so doing have earned organic certification bonuses.

  • ...of the cooperative in East Timor that has not only built clinics and schools, but served as an island of calm and refuge as lands around it erupted in civil war.

  • ... of the cooperative in the highlands of Aceh, Sumatra, that not only has been able to offer micro-loans to its members to fund new and diverse business, but was able to donate tons of food to tsunami victims in Banda Aceh, to build and repair 34 homes, and fund continuing support for orphans and widows in the community following the disaster.


Fair Trade certified cooperatives build not only increased wealth and operational capacity for their members, but also social, cultural, health and educational support networks. It's these networks that will ultimately prove to be the real force for sustainability in these coffee communities... Fair Trade price supports simply served as a springboard.

In short, Fair Trade has proved a positive force for change in coffee-growing communities around the world, and increasingly in coffee shops, college campuses and family kitchens across these United States. Speaking of which, you better check your chocolate supply... there's ghouls due at your door most any moment now.

Comments

Fair Trade gifts: spread the word

If you've been visited our blog at all lately, then you know that October is Fair Trade month.  Hooray!  But did you know we've made it convenient to spread the word about Fair Trade by putting together some wonderful Fair Trade gifts?  Share some Fair Trade items this Holiday season.  Friends and relatives can enjoy wonderful Fair Trade treats while you support hard working coffee farmers.  Please consider these gifts:

  • Brewing a Better World Gift Bag.  Dagoba chocodrops, Robin's chocolate sauce, Green Mountain coffees, Zhena's Gypsy teas, and a coupon for 1 pint of Ben & Jerry's FT ice cream - all in a reusable tote bag - all helping to build a better world.

  • Fair Trade organic coffee sampler.  Three great coffees that help make the world a better place: FT Organic Breakfast Blend, FT Organic French Roast and FT Organic Sumatran Reserve.

  • Fair Trade K-Cups.  Did you know we offer over 10 different K-Cups with Fair Trade certified coffee?  Any Keurig brewer owner would love to see these at Thanksgiving dinner or under the tree.


We hope all your gift giving efforts are a success this Holiday.
Comments

Beyond Fair Trade coffee...

Fair Trade coffee means many things:  a fair price paid to democratically-organized farmer cooperatives, fair labor conditions, a direct line of commerce between growers and buyers, community development and environmental sustainability.  That's a good start to the day for you...and for many farmers as well!

With your day off to a rousing start, why not keep the Fair Trade ball rolling?  It's possible to fuel the Fair Trade movement in a bunch of mouth-watering ways: chocolate, bananas, mangos, pineapples, grapes, sugar, honey, rice and tea (and, if you consider flowers edible, there are Fair Trade flowers too!).  Sounds like there is a killer batch of brownies or a lush fruit salad in my future.

For those without the time (or, in my case, skills!) to whip up something from scratch, our neighbors from just up the road, Ben & Jerry's, use Fair Trade vanilla, chocolate, and coffee in their versions of these flavors.  À la mode, anyone?

Co-op America [a not-for-profit membership organization whose mission is to harness economic power—the strength of consumers, investors, businesses, and the marketplace—to create a socially just and environmentally sustainable society] has a nice list of where to find these Fair Trade Products.  See that list via the link HERE.

Comments

Ways to Support Fair Trade in Your Town

So now that you know what fair trade is all about, what can you do about supporting fair trade in your daily life?

You can start with food items since that’s what most of us consume every day. The good news is that there are many fair trade foods available these days in your grocery store. Coffee of course is at the top of the list as well as tea. For those with a sweet tooth (me) there are quite a few fair trade options for chocolate bars and cocoa. In general healthy food markets and Coop’s will have a wider range of fair trade food products including rice, sugar, and fruit in addition to coffee, tea and cocoa.

Go to http://www.transfairusa.org/content/WhereToBuy/ to find fair trade certified products in your area. There you can find listings for local grocery stores as well as large national retailers who carry fair trade items.

While doing research for this post I found a great option for supporting the fair trade model here in New England. Red Tomato is a non-profit organization based in Massachusetts that sources produce from family farms in the northeast and southeast for distribution in New England grocery stores. Red Tomato defines itself as being “at the forefront of efforts to build a Domestic fair trade movement, applying principles of fair trade to support farmers in the US.” Go to http://www.redtomato.org/products.html for a list of available products and participating grocery stores.

There are a myriad of non-food fair trade items available in stores and on the web. Some are more readily available than others but you can find fair trade versions of apparel, accessories, furniture, bedding, toys, arts, and crafts. With holiday gift giving season just around the corner it’s a great time to commit to purchasing fair trade products.  Use the opportunity of gift giving to educate family and friends about the benefits of fair trade.

For up to date information on Fair Trade standards visit:
www.ifat.org
www.transfairusa.org
www.fairtradefederation.org

Comments