A February Perfect Pairing!

Fill this Heart Mug from Craft Link (available at SERRV and Fair Trade Winds) with Equal Exchange's Love Buzz coffee, and you're halfway to a February perfect pairing!

We hope all of our lovely readers had a very happy Fair Trade Valentine’s Day!  Though, now that we’re past the excitement of the big day, we sure could use a perfect pairing pick-me-up.  If, like us, you are starting to feel the winter blues, try this yummy combo, which will have you celebrating the Fair Trade love despite this chilly weather.

Here’s what Theo has to say about this decadently divine treat:

“The best collaborations are simple. Theo sources and roasts the best chocolate. Caffé Vita sources and roasts the best coffee. why not combine them? coffee + chocolate = happiness.”

We couldn’t agree more.  Which is why we’ve paired these delicious coffee chocolate caramels with one of our favorite Fair Trade coffees.  Because coffee + chocolate + coffee = happiness³.  (We’ve checked this equation with Dave-the-Coffee-Guy, and he’s in absolute agreement.)


Dave’s not the only who’s head-over-heels for Equal Exchange’s Organic Love Buzz coffee.  None of the Fair Trade Trendsters can resist this “sweet, sultry and smooth coffee with an unexpected bite and lasting finish.”  Even Katy, Fair Trade Trends founder and notorious hazelnut syrup fiend, drinks this delicious, chocolately brew black.  Simply scrumptious.

So even though Punxsutawney Phil’s offered us hope for an early spring, if you still see snow on the ground (or hey, love chocolate, coffee, or helping to promote economic justice for the world’s farmers), we say treat yourself!  Because, you’ve earned it!  And because doing good tastes so right!

Stay Warm!

Peace and Love,

Your Fair Trade Trendsters

Fair Trade Your Valentine’s Day!

Fair Trade Flowers for Valentine’s Day from Organic Style.

THE COMPLETE GUIDE TO FAIR TRADING YOUR VALENTINE’S DAY!

In preparation for the mushiest, lovey dovey-est day of the year, we’ve gathered an awesome collection of our favorite Fair Trade Valentine’s Day gifts.  (BTW February 14 is also known as Singles Awareness Day.  If you find yourself flying solo on 2/14, we highly suggest you treat your beautiful, spectacular self to a fab Fair Trade present [or two, or three, or four…]).

Unfortunately, as much as we lurve the warm, fuzzy feelings of V-Day, the presents we give to announce our love often also carry unseen messages of injustice and cruelty as the farmers who grow our chocolate and flowers and the miners who unearth our diamonds are often exploited, if not enslaved, in the production of these gifts.  However, thanks to Fair Trade Certification, you can give your honey a truly sweet gift, one that protects the rights of workers, women, and children; builds up communities; and helps to sustain the environment.

OUR FAVORITE GIFT IDEAS:

FLOWERS:

While women love flowers (“over 90% of gift flowers in the US are given to women”), the flower industry, which notoriously pays its workers poverty wages, clearly doesn’t love women back.  Over half of the women working in Ecuador’s flower industry have faced sexual harassment at work. Further, The U.S./Labor Education in the Americas Project and The International Labor Rights Fund also reports that:

“66% of Colombian and Ecuadorian flower workers suffer from work-related health problems.  [Since] pesticide abuse is rampant – flower workers experience higher-than-average rates of premature births, congenital malformations, and miscarriages.”

And yet, these facts are hidden from us consumers, and we continue to give flowers as signs of our affection.  However, thanks to Fair Trade, we can give breathtaking bouquets (like those pictured at the top of this post), which empower women and protect workers and the environment.  For more information, visit Fair Trade USA’s Fair Trade Certified Flowers page.  (Fair Trade flowers can be purchased online at Organic Bouquet and Organic Style.)

Fair Trade flower worker “Elvia Almachi, 6 years working at Agrogana, Comite de Vigilancia of the Joint Body.”

DIAMONDS:

While they’re not in everyone’s price-range, if you are planning to give the gift of bling, we urge you to support companies like Brilliant Earth, which provide a Conflict-Free Guarantee.

CHOCOLATE:

While Marilyn told us that “diamonds are a girl’s best friend,” we know better.  Check out these yummy gifts that will definitely show your cutie you’re sweet on her/him.  (To learn more about the importance of buying Fair Trade chocolate, see our post on Fair Trade Films: Child Slavery in the Cocoa Industry):

  • Theo Chocolate’s Aphrodisiac Collection (“This 8 piece collection includes 1 each of the following: Dulce de Leche, Fig Fennel, Licorice, Ginger Rose Caramel, Hot Ceylon Cinnamon, Honey Saffron Caramel and Tequila Lime”):

  • Sjaak’s Organic Chocolates’s Valentine Heart Truffle Box (A handmade box “filled . . . with 20 delicious dark chocolate creamy truffles. Flavors include: Raspberry, Almond, Hazelnut, Cherry and Orange”):

  • Global Exchange’s Thinking of You Gift Box (“Chocolate covered Brazil nuts from Candela co-operative in Peru, 40 pieces of Equal Exchange mini dark chocolates, beautifully packaged in a box with a heart, Cinnamon scented heart candle, & 3 bars of Organic Chocolate from Divine, [assorted Flavors]”):

WINE:

PAMPER YOUR SWEETIE:

  • Global Exchange’s Bath and Beauty Spa Basket (“A natural hand-woven basket from Cambodia filled with: Choice Organic Chamomile Tea, 2 Organic Divine chocolate bars, Tea Infuser Mug, Citrus Blossom Bath Salts, Afghan Rock Soap (set of 5), Putumayo’s Women of Africa CD, & Pumice Baby Foot”):

JEWELRY:

GIFTS THAT SHOW YOU CARE:

  • Ruth and Nohemi’s Naomi Bear (Available at SERRV):

  • Putumayo’s World Music’s Tango Around the World (“Passion, style and elegance are interwoven to create this musical tapestry of international tango and tango-influenced songs”):

  • Putumayo’s World Music’s ¡Salsa! (“A hip-shaking music collection featuring many of the hottest salsa bands in North and South America”):

  • Asha Handicrafts’s Love Birds Box (Available at Ten Thousand Villages):

  • Seven Hopes United’s Hearts for Africa (“The sale of each heart helps fund the rebuilding of a primary school in war zones or conflict-ridden areas of Africa”):

CLOTHING & ACCESSORIES:

  • Fair Indigo’s Baby Alpaca Scarf in Pink (Also available in Dark Charcoal Heather, Camel, Deep Pink, Bay Blue, Burnt, Orange, and Charcoal Heather):

CARDS & GIFT WRAP:

  • Salay Handmade Paper’s Bunny Love Card (Available at Ten Thousand Villages):

We hope you’ll spread the love and fabulousness of Fair Trade this Valentine’s Day!

Peace and Love,

Your Fair Trade Trendsters

Perfect Autumn Pairing: Apple Cider Caramels & Pumpkin Spice Coffee

“Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns.”

— George Eliot

Ahh…don’t you just love the fall?  There’s a new crispness in the air, the leaves have burst into colorful flames, and the squirrels (nature’s original hoarders) are frantically scurrying to amass nuts for the winter.  We have a serious crush on autumn.

In an effort to spread our major fall love, we offer you this perfect autumn pairing: Apple Cider Caramels & Pumpkin Spice Coffee.

When the air turns a bit nippy, and you begin to wonder if winter may be just around the corner, treat yourself to some Fair Trade caramels and coffee.  Cozy up under your favorite quilt and indulge in the yummy decadence of this awesome autumn pairing.

You deserve it!

Peace and Love,

Your Fair Trade Trendsters