is an information hub designed to grow the fair trade movement. together, we can create a market that values the people who make the food we eat and the goods we use.

Monthly Archives: July 2008

Bling! A Planet Rock


Rappers take a look at where diamonds come from in Africa






A ‘corner store’ for people in the far corners

Annette Pereira and her Baksheesh store help developing-nation artisans

Peas, Coldplay delivers music with a message

Coldplay is campaigning for famine relief and fair trade practices at its concert tour stops.
FOR YEARS musicians have taken a leading role in one of their industry’s most important acts of public service — turning people’s hunger for a great song, well performed, into food that feeds the physical hunger of thousands. (more…)

Organic and Fair Trade Tea Pioneer Choice Organic Teas Launches New Whole Leaf Organics Line


Seattle, WA (July 2008) — Choice Organic Teas, the leading purveyor of exclusively organic teas, and the first company to introduce certified organic and Fair Trade Certified™ teas in the U.S., announces the launch of Whole Leaf Organics, the largest collection of organic, Fair Trade Certified tea pyramids on the market today. Choice Organic Teas’ 20-year commitment to sourcing the highest quality teas, and providing delicious, innovative and consciously-produced products to its consumers, truly shines in this new line. Whole Leaf Organics joins the tea-crafter’s three established tea lines: Original, Gourmet and Loose Leaf teas.

While the tea pyramid is currently one of the newest trends in artisan tea manufacturing, Choice Organic Teas’ new Whole Leaf Organics stands out in a number of ways:

Choice Organic Teas offers the largest selection of exclusively organic and Fair Trade tea pyramids, keeping in line with its long-time commitment to manufacturing organic and Fair Trade teas. Whole Leaf Organics (WLO) tea pyramids are fully biodegradable. Choice Organic Teas does not use any PVdC in their packaging. The 100% recycled box is printed with soy ink and features a unique cover with a die-cut pyramid window, offering a peek at the tea garden-inspired painting commissioned by Seattle artist Maija Fiebig. With an elegant twist, the retail box also meets foodservice operators’ need for quick access to product. Each box easily folds open into an attractive, self-dispensing display, eliminating the need for a dispensing cut-out, and the available counter rack completes the presentation. Tea varieties include traditional flavors such as English Breakfast and Earl Gray, as well as some of the newer blends so popular with tea drinkers.

Loose leaf teas are often considered by tea connoisseurs to be the finest way to enjoy a cup, as the unfurling of the full tea leaves allows complex flavors to come to the forefront. With extra room inside each tea pyramid, Whole Leaf Organics achieves this same quality but with the added convenience of a tea bag. The line includes eight varieties of traditional blends and new favorites — English Breakfast, Earl Grey, Estate Blend Darjeeling, Jade Green, Jasmine Green, Chamomile Citrus, Sweet Liquorice Mint, and Lychee White. The suggested retail price is $8.49 for a 15-count box of individually wrapped tea pyramids.

“As pioneers in organic tea, Choice Organic Teas has developed close relationships with our tea gardens over the past 20 years,” said Eric Ring, Head of Purchasing and Production. “Whole Leaf Organics takes that connection to the next level and allows us to showcase some of the highest quality organic teas available in a way that truly enhances the quality of the tea.”

Whole Leaf Organics continues the traditions of social responsibility and environmental sustainability that have been pillars of Choice Organic Teas’ parent company, Granum, Inc., since the company’s founding in 1980. The Fair Trade logo is a stamp of commitment: Fair Trade Certified™ products directly support a better life for farmers and farm workers in the developing world through fair prices, community development, and environmental stewardship.

In addition to Whole Leaf Organics, Choice Organic Teas also produces their Original line, which includes classic teas and traditional blends available in tea bags; the Gourmet line featuring new favorites and classics with a twist in tea bags; and Loose Leaf teas available in bulk grocery and via the company’s web site. 

A brand of Granum, Inc. of Seattle, Choice Organic Teas made its debut in 1989. As North America’s #1 selling exclusively certified organic tea line, Choice Organic Teas has promoted the growth and development of organic agriculture in tea estates worldwide and offers more than seventy varieties of teas and herbal infusions available in teabags and loose leaf. In 2000, Choice Organic Teas became the first tea crafter in the United States to offer Fair Trade Certified™ tea. Visit for more information.

W’ford market expands its sources


WATERFORD - Visitors to the Waterford Harbor Farmers Market Sunday were greeted by the addition of a new Ballston Spa vendor in honor of the market’s focus on the many benefits of fair trade.
Mango Tree Imports at 2124 Route 50 in Ballston Spa was represented by the shop’s owner, Kim Anderson, who was on hand to sell some of her store’s wares, as well as answer any questions about the Fair Trade Federation that people had.
“Fair trade is basically an attempt at poverty alleviation in the developing world through sustainable business practices rather than just through charity,” said Anderson, who noted that her shop was one of roughly 300 nationwide members of the Fair Trade Federation.
Anderson explained that her shop offers items from over 55 countries in the developing world and that she and her husband, who also teach language classes for adults and children in their Las Mariposas language center, try to work closely with some of the artisans of work that they sell in order to learn exactly what kinds of products they are getting and where they are coming from.
“In the big picture it’s about educating consumers to make wise buying choices and realize that every purchase affects someone on the other end of the deal,” said Anderson. “If you purchase a product from a fair trade retailer, it affects someone in a good way, but those that are not could have alternative effects on the living conditions of the workers used to produce those products.”
Anderson also noted that the idea that Fair Trade Federation products are more expensive is often a misconception, with the exception of certified, organic coffees, since the process cuts out all of the middle men who would typically require a portion of the profit from sold items.
Other aspects of fair trade include providing fair wages, safe workplaces, ensuring environmental sustainability, not supporting child labor, economic transparency, and gender equity.
With the weekly event now its second month, market manager Mary Stalker said that the idea of fair trade seemed to work well with a farmers market.
“We can’t really find coffee or tea grown locally in this area, so this is a good way to support other small, family farms in other parts of the world,” said Stalker. “Fair trade supports the same ideas and values of our local farmers markets so I think it works well to bring the two together.”
Bethlehem resident Paul Tick had two small booths set up at the farmers market to promote show case some of the work his son, Daniel, has been doing to document the poor living and working conditions of free trade zones in Mexico, operated by major retail companies without the benefits of fair trade, as well as information and promotional materials for those interested in signing up to receive wind energy from National Grid.
“New York has the capacity to handle roughly 20 percent of its electricity needs from wind power but is currently only using about 1 percent,” said Tick, who noted that his family pays about $4 more per month for wind energy power. “For only a couple of pennies per day more, New Yorkers can enjoy safe, clean energy from local wind turbines.”

Fair Trade Wedding Lists: A site with a difference that makes a difference


In the years spent working for big business and travelling the globe, the owners of Fairgift saw an increasing need to reward manufacturers fairly whilst providing the wedding market with an alternative to the mainstream list services. In response to this, they set about to launch Fairgift, the first online Fair Trade Wedding List Site. (more…)

Weaver’s Coffee & Tea Launches 100% Certified Organic and Fair Trade Certified Coffee Line

- The Wall Street Journal Digital Network

Weaver’s Coffee & Tea, a specialty coffee roaster, announced today that their handcrafted, artisan coffee is now available in specialty grocery and gourmet food stores. The company also announced the introduction of a new line of 100% Certified Organic and Fair Trade Certified coffee and tea. (more…)

With fair trade, we all come out winners


You’ve probably seen the fair-trade labels on products like coffee, tea, chocolate, and on some clothes and crafts.

Now a campaign is under way to make all Chicago a fair-trade city. Organizers with Chicago Fair Trade are calling on the City Council to pass a resolution in support of fair trade and to encourage city departments to buy fair-trade goods. (more…)

Making a World of Difference: Social Activist, ‘Javatrekker’ Dean Cycon Believes in Organic Business Growth

- Business West, MA

Dean Cycon, owner of Orange-based Dean’s Beans, is in demand these days. He’s spoken on a number of college campuses, and recently addressed a UN group on the subject of how businesses are addressing human-rights issues in their supply chains — or not. Cycon, an entrepreneur, social activist, and now an author, has achieved such status through his work with and on behalf of coffee-growing nations — efforts that go well beyond paying a fair price for beans. (more…)

Could all nations be fair trade like Wales?

- Smart Planet

Wales becomes the first Fair Trade Nation

This month Wales announced that it had become the world’s first fair trade nation. So what’s next — a fair trade United Kingdom, a fair trade Europe, or even a fair trade world?

For Wales to become a fair trade nation, it set up criteria (and then met them) with the help of the Fairtrade Foundation and charities such as Oxfam and Christian Aid. This included doing things like having Fairtrade campaign groups in 55 per cent of towns, using and promoting Fairtrade products like coffee, tea and biscuits in the meetings and offices of the Welsh Assembly and promoting Fairtrade awareness in faith groups and schools around Wales. (more…)