close up of pile of multi-coloured jelly beans

Fair trade food: fabulous new fairly traded foods to try

The Greenredeem team are big fans of Fairtrade Fortnight (Monday 24th February — Sunday 8th March 2020). So, for each week of February on the Greener Living blog, we’re featuring an industry in which fair trade is flourishing. This week is is fair trade food.

We’ll be licking our lips over some fairer foods today, but before we get stuck into those, we need to talk about our big message for this month… 

Fair trade creates a more sustainable world for everyone

Fairer trade means better prices, decent working conditions, help to tackle the effects of climate change, and fair terms of trade for farmers and workers in the developing world. 

Fair trade ensures that they’re paid sustainable prices for their hard work. It enables producers to improve their lives, their community and build a more sustainable future. Watch this quick three-minute animation, showing how fairer trade can create a sustainable future for us all… 

…in the meantime, have a gander at these fair trade food delicacies

Let’s leave the usual suspects of chocolate, coffee, bananas and tea to one side and look over a few of the more fabulous Fairtrade-certified products to emerge in recent times. 

Karma Cola bottles and cans on a red background

Fair trade drink: cola nut

Try them: Karma Cola party pack

This is pop for grown-ups. Fully recyclable packaging and a real depth of natural flavour brought by botanicals including fairly traded cola nuts from Sierra Leone and vanilla beans from Sri Lanka. 

Karma Cola really do live up to their motto, “Drink no evil”

Karma Cola really do live up to their motto, “Drink no evil”. They plough a percentage of each sale back into infrastructure projects in the Sierra Leone village communities that produce their cola nuts. Funding has already helped build a bridge to help children get to school and installed a rice hulling plant – crucial in ensuring villagers are self-sufficient.

Organic fair trade coconut oil

Fair trade food: coconut oil

Try it: Lucy Bee Extra Virgin Fairtrade Organic Coconut Oil

Stir fry with it, roast with it, bake with it, spread it on your toast – or even on your face and hair! Extra virgin coconut oil is so versatile, in Lucy Bee’s book you can find all the ways to put it to good use. 

The product is made from coconuts produced in the Philippines and certified by the Fair Trade Sustainability Alliance (FairTSA). Lucy Bee pays a 10% premium over and above the price of coconuts traded on the open market. These extra funds primarily help to pay higher wages; secondly as community funding for the producers to invest as they see fit, such as into feeding assistance programmes or school scholarships. 

Fair trade and organic vanilla extract

Fairly traded vanilla

Try it: Taylor & Colledge Fairtrade and Organic Vanilla Bean Extract

Vanilla bean extract is made from the long, plump, bright green seed pods of certain tropical orchids. After harvesting, the pods begin a multi-step drying process that can take several months. Then the final alcohol maceration takes place to create the vanilla extract that cake bakers know and love.  

Taylor & Colledge source these labour-intensive vanilla products from Fairtrade-certified growers in the Comoros Islands, Madagascar, Papua New Guinea and Tonga. No ‘plain vanilla’ here! The fair trade in vanilla has allowed growers to escape the vulnerability of a single income from unreliable harvests and diversify into other cash crops to create a more stable future for their families. 

Fair trade gourmet jelly beans

Fairly traded sugar

Try it: Fairtrade Gourmet Jelly Beans

These did not last long in the Greenredeem office, I can tell you. In future, I’ll be keeping my store of these very chompable beauties at home. (If I can’t eat well, at least I can eat Fairtrade!)

The Jelly Bean Factory’s Fairtrade range is vegan, gluten-free, packed with natural flavour. It also helps support the Kasinthula Cane Growers Association in the Shire River Valley District of Chikwawa, southern Malawi. What’s not to love? 

Do you look for the Fairtrade logo when you’re grocery shopping? Share your thoughts with us on Facebook or Twitter.

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