Hye Thyme Cafe: It's Fair Trade Month - Get Your Java on with Green Mountain Coffee!

Welcome to the Hy
e Thyme Cafe. Although not all of my recipes are Armenian, the name is a little nod to my Armenian grandmother who is no longer with us. The Hye refers to all things related to her homeland, and she represents all things food-related to me, so the two just seemed to go together. I can't even claim that my Armenian recipes are truly Armenian, since Greece, Turkey, Armenia, Lebanon, Syria, and even Egypt share so many foods that they've all sort of morphed into one over thousands of years.

Whether you like to cook, bake, have never done either, or just like to play with your food...come on in and join me! :)

Thursday, October 13, 2011

It's Fair Trade Month - Get Your Java on with Green Mountain Coffee!

I was selected by BzzAgent to participate in their Green Mountain Coffee® Fair Trade campaign.  The reason I signed on to this campaign is that I truly enjoy Green Mountain Coffee, and I was interested in learning a little about Fair Trade.  I have to admit to being pretty ignorant in that regard.  Fair Trade products is one of those things that I would hear about from time to time, and it sounded like a good thing, but I never actively sought out information or Fair Trade products.  Since I do actually drink Green Mountain, I was honestly more interested in the literature I would be receiving than the coffee samples -- but don’t kid yourself, I’m all about sampling.  Just ask the folks over at Marx Foods!  And, as it turns out, October is Fair Trade Month.

I have never considered myself a “coffee person” per se.  I know, some of you are making a confused face right now.  That means you’ve been reading my blog for a while and know that I’m a Dunkin Junkie.  The thing is, Dunkin Donuts Coffee has it’s own flavor.  It doesn’t taste like any other coffee, so I don’t really think of it that way.  I just love the taste, so I’ll drink it any time, but I’m not someone who needs that first cup of coffee to wake up in the morning, or drinks coffee to stay awake.  I drink Dunkin for the taste.  Besides, I grew up in Massachusetts, so it’s practically a law.  I think they put that stuff in baby bottles there.  ;)

That said, there are times when I go out to dinner and want a cup of coffee to end off the meal, or when I have company over and want to be able to offer them coffee (I usually hit the drive-thru for myself, so I don’t make it at home often).  Then there are the days when my car is blocked in the driveway, or the weather is crappy and I don’t want to go out.  What do I do then?  I pop a K-Cup® in the Keurig.  

There are only a few brands of coffee that I’ll drink.  Most coffees are too bitter or acidic for me.  Don’t even get me started on the chicory coffee when I was living in New Orleans!  Actually, there are really only two brands that I like to have on hand at home.  One is Paul deLima, and the other is Green Mountain.  As it turns out, all three brands feature Fair Trade options, with Green Mountain having the largest selection of Fair Trade Certified™ coffees in the U.S.  They were actually one of the first brands to sign on with Fair Trade USA.

According to Fair Trade USA:

“Fair Trade began modestly in the 1940s when a few small North American and European organizations reached out to poverty stricken communities to help them sell their handicrafts to well-off markets. Later, a fictional Dutch character, Max Havelaar, was developed as an advocate for exploited coffee pickers. Today, Fair Trade is a global effort. Fair Trade USA and the Fairtrade Labelling Organizations International (FLO) have extended their reach beyond crafts and coffee. Consumers can enliven developing countries, relieve exploitation and promote environmental sustainability by purchasing Fair Trade-labeled tea, cocoa, fruits, vegetables, herbs, spices, sugar, honey, wine, flowers, grains and rubber products.“

Green Mountain not only has great-tasting coffee, they:

  • Have the largest selection of Fair Trade Certified™  coffees in the U.S.
  • Are a division of Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc., the largest roaster of Fair Trade Certified Coffee in the world
  • Have been supporting Fair Trade for more than a decade
  • Are the leading brand in K-Cup® portion packs for Keurig® (but don't worry, if you don't have a Keurig, they sell regular beans/ground as well)

Still not sure about Fair Trade and how it applies to you and your coffee?  Here’s “The Inside Scoop” according to Green Mountain:

How does Fair Trade make a difference:  Fair Trade provides a direct link between farmers and Green Mountain Coffee, cutting out the middlemen known as “cayotes.”  Here are some other good-to-know Fair Trade benefits:

Farmers are paid a fair price for their harvest:  Fair Trade farmers are guaranteed a minimum price for their coffee, and if market prices exceed the minimum, they receive current  market prices plus a separate payment called a premium.

Farming families and communities are supported:  Farmers within a co-op vote to determine how to invest their Fair Trade premiums to best benefit their own communities’ funding projects like schools, roads, health clinics, and safe drinking water.

Sustainable farming practices are promoted:  To become Fair Trade Certified™, farmers must adhere to a number of environmental standards, like protecting water resources, and restricting the use of pesticides and certain chemicals.

Working conditions are bettered:  Fair Trade Certified™ communities must follow strict labor laws and practices that are in place to protect workers.

You get high-quality coffee:  Farmers use their Fair Trade premiums to invest in their businesses for things like drying patios and mineral-rich compost.  These investments and requirements result in higher-quality coffee for you and your family.

As you can see, it’s a circle effect.  Not only does Fair Trade help the farmers but it also circles back to provide you us with the highest-quality coffee, all while providing support to local communities.  It’s definitely a win-win.

Interested in learning more?  Check out the following links, and keep an eye out for these logos:

Fair Trade USA
Green Mountain Coffee
Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc.
And don’t forget to “Like” Green Mountain on Facebook to keep up with news and events and to find even more information on Fair Trade.

With all this talk about coffee, I think I'll go brew myself a cup.  Ciao for now ...

** Green Mountain Coffee samples were provided to me through BzzAgent, along with the information quoted above, and some coupons to share with my friends and co-workers.  I have not otherwise been compensated for this post, and my opinion of Green Mountain is strictly my own. **


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