Happy International Coffee Day!
If you enjoy coffee as much as I do, then I’m sure you’re taking advantage of all the special deals the coffee shops have today, checking out the most delicious coffee recipes on Pinterest, or posting a picture of your favorite coffee on Instagram. But as you’re enjoying your cup of caffeinated goodness, I ask you to consider something… Is your coffee ethical coffee?
As homesteaders, we pay a lot of attention to where our food comes from, how it is grown, and how the farmers are treated. And I think we should do the same with our coffee. I think we should strive for ethical coffee.
Ethical coffee is the idea that coffee should be grown and produced in sustainable and environmentally friendly ways, and that the farmers should be treated and paid fairly. Right now the bulk of the coffee industry uses lots of pesticides, and coffee farmers often don’t get a fair price for their crop.
As shoppers, and as homesteaders, we know we have the power to change things. By voting with our dollars and buying products that are sustainable, we can really shift the market. But, unfortunately, there’s not a simple “ethical coffee” label that makes it easy to tell if the product is sustainable and the farmers were treated fairly.
Instead, we have the confusing mess of labels like organic, fair trade, and shade grown. That’s why I want to share this fascinating article that explains exactly what these labels mean, so we can make sure we’re buying the most ethical coffee possible.
There are some forces working to make things better for coffee farmers, and some of those are quantified with various labels, slogans and certifications. But it can be hard to figure out what to trust and what to look for; some nice-sounding phrases turn out to be legally meaningless, and some really great certifications are saddled with terrible names that undersell their value. Ionescu led us through how to buy coffee in a way that ensures, to the best of your ability, that farmers are being paid and treated fairly.
This isn’t a perfect guide; coffee, like any other product grown in a developing country and destined for a developed country, has a long ways to go before the various certifications and regulations really provide good working conditions and wages to the producers. But that shouldn’t stop you from trying. It’s not every product that allows you to act ethically every single morning.
Coffee is part of our lives every day. Let’s do our part to make sure that one day all coffee is ethical coffee.
How will you be celebrating international coffee day?
Share this article to help spread awareness.