Healthy and Sane

Fair trade coffee (+giveaway)

November 2nd, 2010 · 116 Comments · giveaways

How’s everyone doing? Did you have a fun Halloween? I actually did not partake in the festivities (except for a work party) and instead got down to business. I’m going to the Foodbuzz festival this weekend so a lot of things needed to be done… like new business cards ordered, Facebook pages created (check out my pages for both Healthy and Sane and Russian Bites – they’ll include more pictures and stuff that never makes it to the blog or twitter). I felt productive and happy. No candy cravings at all! :)

October was oneΒ  busy month and somehow I missed the opportunity to tell you that October was a fair trade coffee month. Good thing we’re not too far from October. Why not make November a fair trade month too? πŸ˜‰

You probably have seen packaged coffee and some chocolates with the fair-trade labels but do you know what fair-trade means? A survey of 250 people in Boston was completed and while Boston is one of the biggest coffee drinking cities in the country, it appears that majority of them (67%) do not fully understand what fair-trade stands for and 30% admitted to having no idea at all. So no worries, if you didn’t know, it’s ok – we’ll change that today. It’s really simple! πŸ˜€

I wrote a post last July (yes, that’s 2009) about the difference between organic and conventional coffee as well as fair trade coffee (check it out here, I think it’s a good read… and it’s short, no worries ;)). Since we’re talking fair-trade here – basically it’s exactly what it sounds like. Fair Trade certification focuses on labor and trade standards to provide small-farmer co-operatives a guaranteed price above the conventional market. In a nutshell, fair trade practices insure that the farmers and producers (basically everyone up the chain) receive fair wages. I think it’s important to remember that our daily habits (and certain, if not all, purchases) have the power to improve the lives of (coffee) farmers and their families all over the world. Coffee growing countries are often poor so providing them with “fair wages” will not cost you an arm and a leg – there really is a small premium that I believe is worth paying. What coffee do you drink? Is it fair trade and/or organic? You can see my favorite coffee here (yes, this is still my coffee of choice 16 months later).


And now that we’re all craving coffee, it’s time for an awesome giveaway! Green Mountain Coffee would like to send one lucky Healthy and Sane reader a free Keurig coffee machine.

Here are the rules; 7 ways to enter.

1) Leave a comment on this post – tell me what kind of coffee you drink and whether fair-trade (and/or organic) is important to you. :)

2) Tell me something you learned about organic and/or fair trade coffee. My previous post could be a good resource but of course I’d love to learn something new as well. πŸ˜‰

3) Follow me on Twitter (please tell me in the comments what your twitter name is so I can confirm). For an additional entry, you can also tweet about this giveaway (my twitter name must be included to qualify – that’s @elinacooks fyi)

4) Like Healthy and Sane on Facebook.

5) Add Healthy and Sane to your blogroll.

6) Link to this post on your blog, if you have one. If you don’t, let someone else know about this giveaway and tell me so in the comments section after they’ve entered the giveaway.

Please leave a separate comment for each entry. The giveaway is open to US residents only (sorry). I will randomly choose a winner using and announce the winner next Monday, November 8. Good luck! :D

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116 Comments so far ↓

  • #1 - Erin (Travel, Eat, Repeat)

    I love Trader Joe’s coffee — just picked up a can of the peppermint blend so I’m excited to try that out soon.

  • #2 - Carly

    I drink different coffee all the time. My recent favorite is One Village Coffee. They are fair trade, organic, rainforest alliance. I usually go for taste of my coffee over the other stuff, but being FT is an added bonus!

  • #3 - Carly

    A random thing about FT, not just coffee I think though- whole foods sends corporate execs to the farms they FT with and develop scholarship programs for them!

  • #4 - Carly

    I like you on FB

  • #5 - Carly

    You are already on my blog roll

  • #6 - Regan

    I usually drink Seattle’s Best Coffee, but I like to switch it up…especially with the seasons. Right now I am drinking Pumpkin Spice from World Market…but I have never really given the fairtrade idea some thought. Some that I do buy are fairtrade and other’s I don’t really pay attention to.

  • #7 - Regan

    I also didn’t realize from your previous post that coffee is one of the most chemically treated commodity in the world! That baffles me. It also makes me want to look for organic over regular.

  • #8 - nancy at good food matters

    right now I am drinking a dark roast coffee, Graffeo, a gift from a friend in San Francisco. I believe that they roast beans that are organically produced, and sold fair-trade. it’s delicious coffee. it is so important to support growers that follow just, fair, clean practices for their workers and their product.

  • #9 - Lauren

    I admit that we keep the kitchen stocked with Dunkin’ Donuts coffee. That being said, the more I learn about fair trade coffee, the more tempted I am to stray from our “staple” coffee. Thanks for the reminder!

  • #10 - Lauren

    I like you on Facebook :)

  • #11 - Lauren at KeepItSweet

    i do try to look for organic and fair trade coffee, but usually just drink regular. this is a good reminder to be more aware of where my coffee comes from!

  • #12 - Danielle

    I drink Dunkin’ Donuts coffee, but all the information I learn about organic and fair trade coffee has me thinking about switching!

  • #13 - Melissa

    currently drinking carmel nut coffee… and love to drink fair trade coffee when i can!

  • #14 - samantha

    Fair trade is definitely important to me! I spent a month in Guatemala and for one week I lived with a family in the rural hillside and harvested coffee beans. It was hard, tiring labor – living in a one room hut for nine and waking up before sunrise to spend all day in the fields. Later on, I went to Guatemala city to the headquarters for all fairtrade coffee that leaves Guatemala. I try and buy only fairtrade when possible, and hopefully from Guatemala :-)

  • #15 - Danielle

    I had no idea that rainforests are being demolished to make room for sun-resistent coffee trees. So alarming!

  • #16 - Emily

    Great giveaway! I attended a fair trade conference with Oxfam America while I was in college; it was a great opportunity to learn about the importance of fair trade and meet coffee farmers. That said, it is frustrating when the coffee you enjoy drinking is not fair trade. I don’t usually buy coffee for my home but do enjoy Dunkin Donuts and Starbucks. I try to get fair trade when possible. PS – I am following you now on twitter :) @acambridgestory

  • #17 - Emily

    Great giveaway! I attended a fair trade conference with Oxfam America while I was in college; it was a great opportunity to learn about the importance of fair trade and meet coffee farmers. I don’t usually buy coffee for my home but do enjoy Dunkin Donuts and Starbucks. I try to get fair trade when possible. PS – I am following you now on twitter :) @acambridgestory

  • #18 - Marcie

    I drink Dunkin Donuts and don’t know if it’s Fair Trade

  • #20 - SaraK

    I love Fresh Market’s Pumpkin coffee…..fair trade is important to me but unfortunately I don’t think about it enough. I hope to change that going forward.

  • #21 - Marcie

    Learned that rainforests are cleared to plant coffee trees, that is awful

  • #22 - Marcie

    I liked you on Facebook (great page!)

  • #23 - Carol

    I like Trader Joe’s cofffee, so ridiculously good!

  • #24 - Hillary

    I love the coffee from Espresso Royale Cofe! Strong, delicious and fair trade :)

  • #25 - Jessie C.

    I’m currently enjoy Trader Joe’s coffee.
    tcarolinep at gmail dot com

  • #26 - Jessie C.

    I don’t even know coffee is the most chemically treated food commodity in the world, this is wow to me. And I learned by purchasing organic and fair trade is to support smaller farmers.

  • #28 - Jessie C.

    Like Healthy and Sane on Facebook.@tcarolinep JEssieKatie S

  • #29 - Jessie C.

    have you on the text blog roll.

  • #30 - Jessie C.

    @tcarolinep twitter follower

  • #31 - eliza

    Mmmm, I love a good French Roast Coffee!

  • #32 - Danielle

    Trader Joe’s organic fair-trade sumatra is my blend of choice. TJ’s makes it so easy to ensure you’re doing the best for the community of coffee growers AND yourself (especially if you buy organic). I also enjoy fair-trade chocolate (it just tastes better and some brands are even vegan!).

    I typically brew it at home in my little 4 cup brewer and I love the smell of freshly ground beans. MMM. I would adore a Keurig coffee machine and I think it would reduce waste. Just one cup, just one packet–fresh and delicious.

    Oh pick me pick me pick me!


  • #33 - Will

    I love to use my French Press to make coffee

  • #34 - Will

    I learned that I should be shopping for not just Fair Trade but also organic coffee as well, really interesting article!

  • #35 - Julie

    I love Tim Horton’s in Canada! I’m not sure if they practice fair trade or not…but they do have some community partnership programs in various countries. It’s something I’ll look into for sure!

  • #36 - janetha g.

    AWESOME giveaway! I drink organic coffee from sunflower market, not sure if it is fair trade.. but i make it using my french press!

  • #37 - janetha g.

    Like you on FB :)

  • #38 - Kathy

    We drink Beanstock Coffee. It’s both organic, fair trade, and local. They are not too far from us. At times, you can smell the aroma of roasting beans around town.

  • #39 - Kathy

    I like you on FB :)

  • #40 - Lori

    Mmmm. Good giveaway! I love coffee with Chicory in it ever since I got back from New Orleans- such a fun and new flavor to have!

  • #41 - Sarah

    Hey Elina! I’ve been lurking for awhile but nothing pulls me out of the shadows like a good coffee discussion (and giveaway!) My vote is also for TJ’s organic/fair trade coffee. They have a lot of variety and it’s always fun to be able to switch things u.! Also when I’m picking up coffee rather than brewing at home, Caribou Coffee has several FT/organic options but it depends what they are brewing that day (unfortunately they haven’t made it to Boston yet).

  • #42 - Sarah

    Naturally there was a typo in my first ever comment on your blog. That should have said “switch things up.”

  • #43 - Lucy

    Love Trader Joe’s Coffee, it is so rich and always brews well!

  • #44 - Emily A

    I love coffee, but being a college student I usually go for what I can afford (typically dunkins when I’m out, and leeching off the roommates whenever they make a pot :) ). I would love to support organic/fair trade brands, and have every intention of buying them when I’m working over break.

  • #45 - Emily A

    also, liked Healthy and Sane and Russian Bites on facebook

  • #46 - Marcie

    Following you on twitter as marciebeth

  • #47 - Marcie

    Tweeted about the giveaway and included your handle @elinacooks

  • #48 - Katie

    I drink a local roast from town – either one called Black and Tan or one called Dark Side of the Moon. Both FT/Organic/Shade grown. I only buy coffee that meets at least 2 of these criteria. I research birds, so I know how important it is.

  • #49 - Katie

    One thing about fair trade, and also organic, is that it is an expensive process to become certified. Most shade grown coffee is organic and a lot of it is also fair trade, and it is less expensive to certify it as shade grown. There is also bird friendly –

  • #50 - Mandi

    I like you now on FB =) Woohoo! I would LOVE to win the cofffee maker – my hubs and I are serious coffee people. Although we don’t think enough about fair trade/organic coffee – we usually stick with a Starbucks blend. We do sometimes go with an organic blend from Whole Foods when we can’t get to Starbucks. I think your post will definitely help me to think much more about whether my coffee is fair trade and/or organic!

  • #51 - judith

    I love any Donut Shop flavored coffee. And I always choose the organic flavor from the K-cup machine at work. I want one at home. LOVE IT.

  • #52 - judith

    I also like Healthy and Sane on Facebook!

  • #53 - Katie

    I had no idea that coffee is the most chemically treated food commodity in the world…that really is making me think twice about my coffee choices.

  • #54 - Katie

    My favorite coffee would have to be Marylou’s (Hawaiian Chocolate Nut is delicious) and also Coffee Break has some great flavors!!

  • #55 - Lindsay

    Love Marylou’s coffee~

  • #56 - Stephanie @cookinfanatic

    This is an awesome giveaway!!! Right now I’m drinking pumpkin spice in our Keurig (yes I have one already, but I’d love to win one for my boyfriend’s parents, they’d adore it!) and loving it :)

  • #57 - Carolyn

    My parents have a Keurig and I love to make freshly brewed coffees in all the different varieties available in Kcups!

  • #58 - Carolyn

    I had no idea about the expense involved in fair trade certification and the process entailed. Thank you for this giveaway and for educating me!

  • #59 - Sues

    I drink allllll kinds of coffee; some of it’s fair trade and some not. I just LOVE variety! Green Mountain’s Pumpkin Spice is one of my fave when I can find it!

  • #60 - Sues

    I liked you on FB! Didn’t even know you were on there :) Yay!

  • #61 - Sues

    And I obviously follow you on Twitter :)

  • #63 - Jo

    oh boo, my first comment didn’t go through. I drink “Peace Coffee” (as the name suggests, it is fair trade (; ) made w/ a cold press. I love it, though have honestly always been curious about a Keurig!

  • #64 - Jo

    And, I think the eco-tourism aspect & it’s impact on the surrounding community as part of the fair trade coffee industry is quite interesting.

  • #65 - Kerstin

    We’ve been trying different Trader Joe’s brands – I can’t wait until their gingerbread one is back because I never got around to trying it last year!

  • #66 - Kerstin

    And I follow you on twitter :) Great giveaway!

  • #67 - Joy

    I am not a coffee drinker but I am a coffee maker and buyer (and a great wife :-) )
    I always buy him costa rican coffee because I was an exchange student to costa rica and had such a great time so I like supporting them!

  • #68 - Donald

    I don’t drink much coffee but my daughter does and she recently explained all about Fair Trade to me, and now it’s all I buy!

  • #69 - Stef

    I am not a huge coffee drinker and have seen the term ‘fair trade’ but didn’t know much about it- thanks for the informative post. Keurigs are good for making tea as well as coffee- we have one @ the office and I have a cup of mandarin orange spice tea every afternoon :)

  • #70 - sister inna

    i love you on facebook

  • #71 - sister inna

    on weekdays i drink pret coffee — it’s organic and fairtrade, but i can’t find the name of the coffee they actually use. they even have organic milks :)
    on weekends i either stay away from coffee or get it at variety — all of their stuff is organic and fair trade too! wahoo

  • #72 - Drew Warner

    Hi there! Wonderful blog! My wife and I drink Higher Grounds fair trade organic coffee and it is roasted near where we live in Northern Michigan (Traverse City area). We think it’s the best – the owner travels to the coffee growing regions and creates long term relationships with the farmers. Right now they are raising $100,000 to build a school in Ethiopia by having a small group of athletes run across the entire country (250 miles) in January. There is more info about their effort on our blog:

  • #73 - Sarah

    I drink Alterra or Inteligentisia!

  • #74 - Sarah

    I had no idea the expenses involved with becoming fair trade certified! thanks for the new info!

  • #75 - Katie D.

    Hi there! I love flavored coffees (not sweetened). Fair trade certified is important to me and I am trying to incorporate it into my normal shopping considerations.

  • #76 - Julie

    I love Dunkin and Green Mountain and all the regular coffee’s in the supermarket but I’ll be sure to keep an eye out for fair trade!

  • #77 - Julie

    I also have you on my blog roll. Awesome give away!!

  • #78 - Julie (A Case of the Runs)

    Hi…. I mostly drink decaf but will go for the “regular” once in a while. I love those Keurig machines!

  • #79 - Julie (A Case of the Runs)

    I also follow you on twitter: @nobel4lit

  • #80 - Julie (A Case of the Runs)

    And… you’re on my blogroll!

  • #81 - Julie (A Case of the Runs)

    I’ve learned that Peets has a lot of fair-trade coffee!

  • #83 - Corey @ the runner's cookie

    I love dunkin donuts coffee – especially regular and hazelnut :) My latest thing is putting cinnamon in my coffee along with milk

  • #84 - Amy

    I usually drink a blend of new england breakfast, along with some flavor-probably not fair trade, though this certainly makes me think!

  • #85 - Amy

    I learned that coffee is one of the most chemically treated things I can put in my body-makes me think twice since I gave up diet soda for that reason!

  • #86 - Lara (Thinspired)

    Organic and fair trade are both important to me! I buy most of our coffee from Trader Joe’s.

    P.S. Congrats on your weight loss :)

  • #87 - Cindy L.

    I happen to love locally ground coffees, so there is not a typical name, just delicious flavors like “sticky buns” or “pumpkin spice.” I have to say that I find that organic and fair trade is quite important as well. The cup of coffee tastes better knowing that is was made properly. One thing I found intriguing about organic coffee is the sheer health benefits (no added chemicals). Who would of thought that the coffee I was drinking before might have been pure toxic. Definitely, not the way to start my morning!

  • #88 - Katie @ Health for the Whole Self

    Great post, Elina! I actually don’t drink coffee, but in college I worked to ensure that the coffee served in the cafeteria was all fair-trade certified. It was a fun campaign and really taught me the importance of speaking out about social issues like fair wages. Good stuff!

  • #89 - Candice

    You are on my blogroll!

  • #90 - Candice

    I follow you on Twitter and my twitter name is CleanEatingMe.

  • #91 - Candice

    My favorite coffee is Wawa coffee. I purchase their organic line. Wawa is a gas/convenience store chain in the Philly area. Many people stop for Wawa coffee on a daily basis. I usually either stop or brew my own at home. They sell it in pound-size bags for home use. It’s very good. Organic is important to me because I try to eat clean and reduce chemical intake. Fair trade is also important because I believe that everyone should be paid fairly for their contributions economically, etc. Even though I believe that, I’ve not yet found a fair trade coffee for daily use. Soon hopefully!

  • #92 - Amanda

    Honestly, I usually drink whatever is on sale, although i prefer some type of flavor (chocolate, hazelnut, ect).

  • #93 - Lisa

    I drink Whole Foods Sumatra…Yum. Fair trade is important to me. Organic not so much, but I think I should educate myself based on other comments I have read.

  • #94 - Jenny

    I am a coffee addict..dunkin donuts, starbucks, flavored, unflavored, caffeinated, decaf – I don’t discriminate :)

    Thanks so much for all of the info! I have to say — I have always been a little misinformed about what “fair trade” meant!

  • #95 - Jenny

    I just learned that coffee can be organic but not necessarily fair trade. Interesting! I’d always assumed they both meant the same thing. Goes to show how much I know!

  • #96 - Jenny

    Following on twitter :) –> pbjenny12

  • #97 - Jenny

    “liked” on facebook –> Jenn Orcutt

  • #98 - Jenny

    you’re on my blogroll!!!

  • #99 - JW

    I drink coffee every single morning, but I usually purchase whatever is cheapest..

  • #100 - JW

    I follow you on twitter and tweeted! @butterjessfly

  • #101 - heather

    I love all coffee but I really like TJs holiday blend :)

  • #102 - heather

    News! McDonalds is going to start selling organic coffee in New England to compete with independent coffee shops. Let’s see how this goes, huh?

  • #103 - michelle rosborough

    Love the donut house collection coffee and yes fair-trade is important to me.

  • #104 - Kaitlyn

    I drink green mountain coffee from the keurig at work — when I am purchasing my own coffee, however, I think it’s really important to think about where your coffee comes from and the people who grow it. I studied abroad in South America, and fair trade practices really make a difference!

  • #105 - Kaitlyn

    I liked you on facebook too! =)

  • #106 - tammigirl

    Right now we have Starbuck’s Africa Kitamu coffee.

    My husband got it when we were on vacation a couple of years ago and it’s his new favorite.

    Fair trade and organic can be important, but most important is taste.

  • #107 - tammigirl

    I follow you on facebook now. @tammigirl

  • #108 - tammigirl

    I follow you on twitter, too. @tammigirl

  • #109 - Melanie

    Well, actually I drink all types of coffee…but one of my all time favorite is Pumpkin Spice by Green Mt. Company. I always stock up as this is a seasonal item and sells out fast!!!! Also, love the Hazelnut Decaf for my nightly dessert by Green Mtn.!!

  • #110 - Heather

    My current love is the cinnamon Caramel Vanilla I found out Whole Foods. I believe it is organic and fair trade but I’m a newly careful consumer and I’m learning.

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  • #112 - Jess S.

    I always buy the whole foods 365 brand pleasant morning buzz. Love it and it’s a really good price which is important given how much coffee I drink!

  • #113 - Allison

    I buy my coffee from my local coffee shop that roasts its own coffee beans. It’s fair trade and organic !!

  • #114 - Cindy L.

    Just so you know, your site is on my blogroll! =)

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