One of my favorite spots in Madison is a cozy little café called Fair Trade Coffee House. Located on State Street across from Jamba Juice, this independently owned café has provided me with the perfect environment to study, drink way too many coffees, and order countless gluten-free, dairy-free pumpkin chocolate chip muffins.
Fair Trade Coffee House exclusively serves fair trade coffee, which is something that has become increasingly important to me. When I visit, I am satisfied in knowing that 100% of the coffee beans that Fair Trade Coffee House uses is fair trade. By just indulging in a cup of coffee at Fair Trade Coffee House and other fair trade cafés, we are simultaneously supporting small coffee farmers all around the world.
We are surrounded by small businesses everywhere we turn, yet many Americans frequent large chain stores more often than not. By buying from individual coffee farmers, rather than large corporations, we are helping to support the economic base in our communities and countries around the world. Fair trade was created to help Mexican coffee farmers after their livelihoods took a turn for the worse, following the collapse of world coffee prices in the 1980s.
When coffee is “fair trade,” it means that the producer is guaranteed to receive the fair trade minimum profit on their coffee. This minimum price is enough money to securely cover the cost of production and acts as a safety net if the market collapses again like it did in the late 1980s. So, next time you walk into a coffee shop for a little caffeine pick me up, think about visiting one that is fair trade.
This was blog was written by Leah Korn.