Fabulous Fair Trade Goodies

October is Fair Trade Month, dedicated to raising awareness about the model of equitable global trade that enables fair pay for farmers and workers, sustainable development and community empowerment. The nice people at TransFair USA recently provided me with a batch of fabulous fair trade certified products to sample in celebration.

Green Mountain Coffee's Signature Vermont Country Blend, a favorite of mine when I lived in New England, tasted so good on a recent rainy fall morning! The company decided to take its most popular blend Fair Trade to raise awareness about the benefits of Fair Trade to small-scale coffee farmers. Green Mountain is encouraging drinkers to "trade out" their conventional cuppa for Fair Trade as well.

Last week I posted about shocking child labor issues in the cocoa industry, so I was happy to indulge in some guilt-free chocolate from Divine, the "heavenly chocolate with a heart." Just three squares (okay, five) of its limited edition dark chocolate bar with ginger and orange was as rich and satisfying as dessert at fine restaurant. I'm hiding the rest from the kids.

Green tea offers so many health benefits, but I've had a hard time finding a blend that doesn't remind me of wet sticks. Thankfully, Rishi's Emerald Lily Ancient Tree Green Tea has come to the rescue as my new antioxidant delivery system. This loose leaf tea is smooth and delicious, and even better, sales help support ethnic minority families in China's Yunnan province, where tea has been cultivated for more than 1,000 years.

Sometimes you need a tea for the road that's cold and refreshing. Honest Tea's
Organic Peach Ice Tea promises super-antioxidants with just the right amount of fruity sweetness -- and it delivers. Yum!

Beans and rice are big at our house, so I'm excited to mix things up by trying La Yapa's Royal Red "Quinoa with a cause." Quinoa is a complete protein grain from the Andes region of South America that is gluten-free. La Yapa sources its quinoa directly from over 200 family farms, and donates 10 percent of its profits to help support children in the farmland communities. La Yapa offers recipes on its website; the coconut curry looks like the perfect quick, tasty meal.

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