This month's goal is to replace non-fair trade food items with fair trade, organic options as often as possible. Something clicked with me at the beginning of the year and I started to find it easier to take the ethical path. It felt less like a sacrifice to avoid Old Navy or to buy fair trade chocolate over a tried and true brand. It's nice that it's becoming second nature over time.
The fair trade movement began with food, so there are more options at standard grocery stores than many people realize. And specialty stores like Whole Foods - we're fortunate to have one in Charlottesville - sell tons of ethical options, all clearly labeled.
This month, I plan to buy more fairly traded produce and continue to buy fair trade coffee, chocolate, and tea. All it takes in most cases is reading the label, but I can always research the production standards when production information is limited. I'll be relying in part on Fair Trade USA resources to narrow it down.
When I talk about fairly traded food, however, I don't just mean items with the fair trade label. Fair trade is tricky because companies normally have to initiate the certification process. If they don't, it doesn't necessarily mean they're hiding anything. There are plenty of local and domestic producers that likely follow ethical guidelines. It's all about doing proper research and asking for greater transparency.
Wish me luck and join in if you'd like. Also, if you have any suggestions or resources, let me know!