October Is Fair Trade Month: What It Means and Where to Buy


It’s unlikely that rushing around this morning you questioned the origin of your coffee. Whether you use a hi-tech machine, a French Press, or a Mr. Coffee (yes, they still make those) this month would be a good time for reflection – even if it is in the Starbucks window.

October is Fair Trade month, perfect opportunity to let questions of origin percolate, and of course help serve up some answers to questions like: what is Fair Trade, how is it regulated, and what can you do to support it?

TransFair USA is the only independent third-party certifier of Fair Trade products in the U.S. They cultivate a more equitable global trade model that benefits farmers, workers, consumers, industry and the earth by tracking products from farms to the finished product.

The non-profit’s rigorous audit system verifies industry compliance with Fair Trade criteria and licenses over 600 U.S. companies to display the Fair Trade Certified label on agricultural products such as coffee, tea and herbs, cocoa and chocolate, fresh fruit, sugar, rice, and vanilla. Look for tips on what you can do to support fair trade such as where to buy Fair Trade products, and help increase demand for them by hosting an event such as a film screening or product tasting. Visit their site for more information on how and where you can donate.

The next time you reach for a cup of java, joe, or whatever you’ve named your favorite morning helper, do it with a conscience.

Image: Jeff Kubina